Skip to main content

Full text of "The university and the modern world : an essay in the social philosophy of university education"

See other formats


An Essay in the Social Philosophy ~ 
of Unwwersity Education 

wt t “Uy 
me ¢ 

ARNOLD S. NASH, M.Sc. (Chem.), M.A., M.Sc. (Econ.) 

With a Foreword by 

és hears MTS 
¥ Cre Hee 

Tet cut yh 

56 Bloomsbury Street, London 


ore Sars © 

y i Pe 



te} ts 
“ x 


Tue PLicgHT oF THE LiBERAL Democratic UNIversity 

Tue TorauirariaAN UNIversity: 
A True Diacnosis sur A FatsE REMEDY 







INDEX 219 


In preparation 


An Essay in the Social Philosophy ~ 
of Unwwersity Education 

wt t “Uy 
me ¢ 

ARNOLD S. NASH, M.Sc. (Chem.), M.A., M.Sc. (Econ.) 

With a Foreword by 

és hears MTS 
¥ Cre Hee 

Tet cut yh 

56 Bloomsbury Street, London 


ore Sars © 

y i Pe 



te} ts 
“ x 

First published in Great Britain in Fanuary 1945 

Printed in Great Britain by 
The Camelot Press Ltd., London and Southampton 



and Lieutenant, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 
M.Com. (Birmingham), Lecturer in Economics, Birkbeck 
College, in the University of London and Chairman of 
the Industrial Committee, Student Christian Movement 
of Great Britain and Ireland, who was killed in action 
south of Tournai, May 20 or 21, 1940, and who would 
have understood and sympathized, even where he might 

have disagreed, with the argument of this book. 

Take away paradox from a thinker and you have the professor. 

No one writes with impunity in a democracy. 

Ina revolutionary world it is not safe to assume too much. 

Seek simplicity and distrust it. 

All living ideas have jagged edges. 

A critique of religion is the beginning of all criticism. 

Religious truth is not only a portion but a condition of general knowledge. 

Good education is always ahead of public opinion and always behind the 
needs of the times. 



Tue PLicgHT oF THE LiBERAL Democratic UNIversity 

Tue TorauirariaAN UNIversity: 
A True Diacnosis sur A FatsE REMEDY 







INDEX 219 


R. Nasu has opened a most interesting discussion in this 
M book. It is his thesis that the modern university has built 
its curriculum and elaborated its educational procedures upon the 
basis of an inadequate philosophy. It has assumed that the scien- 
tific method and spirit are an adequate guide in the pursuit of 
knowledge. The difficulty with this assumption is that science as 
such can have no sense of the meaning of life or of history. It must 
therefore either seek to develop an “impartiality” and ‘“‘objec- 
tivity” which remains neutral to all “values” and every sense of 
meaning by which men integrate their individual and collective 
life; or it must covertly insinuate some faith into a supposedly 
presuppositionless culture. In the former case a “liberal” culture 
lives on, and sometimes falls into, the abyss of nihilism; in the 
latter case it makes faith in “nature” or “reason” or “democracy” 
or “capitalism” the unexamined basis of its structure of meaning. 

Mr. Nash offers very significant historical evidence of the con- 
fusions which inhere in the culture of “liberalism? and which 
have clearly expressed themselves in the futilities of modern 
education. He analyses both communism and fascism as modern 
creeds which have sought to fill the vacuum of a ““presupposition- 
less” culture by dogmas which are maintained by political power 
and which exhaust the meaning of life in a political programme. 
Without equating communism and fascism (for Mr. Nash recog- 
nizes the greater ethical content of the former) he rightly observes 
their similarity from the standpoint of educational theory and 
practice. They both enforce conformity to given religio-political 
dogmas. } . 

Thus the modern world, which began by defying the authority - 
of a Church which sought to bring all culture and education under 
the presuppositions of a particular version of the Christian faith, 
ends in a confusion and a cultural chaos which invites new dog- 
matic creeds of a lower level to bring discipline ‘into life and 
education. ‘ : 

After this critical analysis Mr. Nash seeks to supply a construc- 
tive answer to the problem of faith, freedom and education. He 
rejects both a conception of freedom which fails to recognize that 


all human activities must be based on a definite faith; and a con- 
ception of faith which denies freedom and leads to obscurantism. 
The problem’ which Mr. Nash faces is a very large one and he 
modestly refrains from seeking a definitive answer for it. But his 
analysis is a real contribution. It is characterized by solid learning, 
diligent scholarship and a wise comprehension of all the facets of 
the issue. 



“A preface should help potential readers to decide whether a book is worth 
the time it will take them to read it.” 

ns book is an essay in criticism, using that term in the third 

meaning as defined by Webster: “The art of judging or 
evaluating with knowledge and propriety the beauties and faults 
of works of art or litetature;—extended to similar consideration of 
moral values, of the soundness of scientific hypotheses and pro- 
cedures, etc.” The object of our criticism in the book is contem- 
porary culture as its crisis is revealed in the fate of the university 
in the Western world. 

All criticism is criticism from a definite perspective; it must 
begin somewhere. The starting point for this book is the contention 
that the university, like the world of which it is a part, has reached 
a crisis even more profound than that evoked by the shattering 
effects of the Renaissance and the Reformation. The question is 
not one of considering, for example, whether the scientific tradi- 
tion of the University of Chicago or the literary tradition of the 
University of Oxford is to be accepted as the basis of university 
education, Nor is it whether the university of the Western world 
shall give up its traditional mode of government which, going back 
to the University of Paris, based itself on control by teachers and, 
instead, revert to the earlier tradition of the University of Bologna 
where the students held the reins of authority. The problem goes 
much deeper, for what is at stake is the adequacy of the common 
“premises of any tradition now current in the liberal democratic 
world on the nature and function of the university in society. 

The whole of scholarship has reached a turning point, for the 
individualistic and rationalistic assumptions which have served 
men of knowledge so well since the dawn of the modern era must 
now be replaced by those more capable of ordering experience in 
the new world being born. The neat and tidy text-book division 
whereby the study of man’s sojourn on the earth was divided into 
prehistory, ancient history, medieval history and modern history 
is no longer tenable for the simple reason that the period dealt 
with under the title, “modern history,” has come to an end. In 
economic life it began with the transformation of feudalism into 


“free”? merchant capitalism; it is ending with the transition from 
finance capitalism to some type of economic collectivism. In 
political life, it began with the collapse of the political unity of 
Christendom and produced the modern nation-state; its end will 
be marked by either the voluntary coalescence or the forcible 
absorption of the system of sovereign states into larger inter- 
dependent political entities. In intellectual life the modern era 
started with the emergence of the experimental method in science 
and the critical view of history as patterns of correct thinking and 
the consequent collapse of scholastic philosophy with its three-fold 
division into natural, mental and moral philosophy and their 
attendant trivium: grammar, rhetoric and logic, and quadrivium: 
arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy; it is ending with the 
inereasing recognition that the speculum mentis of the world now 
disappearing before our eyes is not unlike those seventeenth- 
century maps which adorn the walls of country houses—they have 
decorative value but for practical purposes serious revision is 
needed. The modern mind, to change the metaphor, fashioned its 
model of thinking on the natural sciences and we now have to 
reckon with the fact that this model in its classical form is no better 
fitted to explain (let alone change) the contemporary world than 
the scholastic scheme was adequate for the intellectual demands 
of a world built on expanding capitalism. 

An interesting indication of the parallel between the intellectual 
crisis of the sixteenth century and that of our own day is that both 
produced a faithful remnant of academic scholars who failed to | 
recognize the inadequacy of the thought-forms and methods of 
thinking which they had inherited from their forefathers. The 
scholastic metaphysicians played this role at the close of the 
Middle Ages. Their intellectual counterparts, as the modern era 
comes to -an end, are the “logical positivists.” It has not yet 
dawned on these intellectual descendants of Galileo’s opponents 
that A. N. Whitehead’s striking words, “‘the stable foundations of 
physics have broken up . . . and the old foundations of thought 
are becoming unintelligible,’: are equally applicable to the 
situation, if for physics we substitute psychology, or biology, or 
economics, or sociology. 

I do not wish for one moment to give the impression, either in 
what I have just said or elsewhere in the book, that I am at all in 
sympathy with those who, in these days of irrational movements 

1 Crdsece ord the Maddern World (Cambhridee. tno) nar. 


in politics, religion, art and education, take any opportunity 
which comes their way to disparage science and the use of the 
human intellect. On the contrary, I would urge that just as the 
early scientists endorsed the scholastic trust in reason but altered 
the presuppositions in terms of which reason could be used, so 
those who would build the new Weltanschauung ignore at their peril 
the experimental method and the knowledge revealed thereby. 
“Scientific” knowledge of man and the universe may not provide 
an adequate foundation for the coming intellectual reconstruction 
but that there must be a place for it in the superstructure cannot 
be denied. 

To those whose suspicions that this book is based on a dispar- 
agement of “‘reason’”’ are still not removed by the above caveat I 
would add two further considerations, In the first place I can only 
urge that I am simply seeking, among other things, to ascertain 
the role of reason in human affairs; it is not my fault if such an 
investigation indicates that the modern view of human reason as 
“disinterested” and “impartial” is in many profound respects an 
irrational superstition, Surely it is more “rational” and “scientific” 
to seek to discover the limits of reason and the range of validity, of 
scientific method than to defend uncritically, as do so many self- 
styled rationalists, the most exaggerated claims for “reason” or 
“science.” In the second place, any such suspected obscurantism 
on my part in my attitude toward science is not I hope, and 
indeed believe, the result of a complete lack of knowledge as to 
the aims and achievements of scientific method. Since 1925, when 
as an undergraduate I entered the School of Chemistry in the 
University of Liverpool, it has been the main preoccupation of my 
waking—and sometimes of my sleeping—hours to ascertain the 
part played by the scientific movement in the creation of the 
modern world and the value of scientific methods in the attempted 
elucidation of problems both within and without the field of the 
natural sciences. 

It may help the reader to understand my position and it cer- 
tainly will enable me to acknowledge many outstanding debts if I 
attempt to express here my gratitude to the teachers who, from the 
Perspective of their particular concern with the problem, have 
generously given to me of their time and attention. To E. C. C. 
Baly (now Emeritus Professor of Inorganic Chemistry in the 
University of Liverpool) I owe much for making it possible for me, 
when as one of his research students I was engaged in a piece of 


empirical research in photochemistry, to pursue systematically my 
interest in the theoretical foundations of the natural sciences under 
the ever-available and creative guidance of J. E. Turner (Reader 
in Philosophy). As I entered the study of philosophy proper, I 
learnt from Alan Dorward (Professor of Philosophy in the Univer- 
sity of Liverpool) and L. A. Reid (now Professor of Philosophy in 
the University of Durham) the valuable lesson that, although the 
fundamental problems of philosophy, like those of life itself, can 
never be solved with the neat and tidy completion of those in the 
field of photochemistry, the attempt is nevertheless well worth 
making. This was a lesson well reinforced by my teacher in 
theology, H. D. A. Major, Principal of Ripon Hall, Oxford. 
Thanks to Dr. B. M. Laing of the School of Philosophy in the 
University of Sheffield, I shall never forget that no statement is 
ever quite what it seems to be. To my teachers in the London 
School of Economics I owe an intellectual debt which those who 
know that eminent institution will find difficult to recognize, if 
they read this book, since in it I am defending a view of the social 
sciences which would only just find a welcome within the walls 
of that most liberal school of learning. From Morris Ginsberg 
(Professor of Sociology) I learnt that not even the clearest thinking 
can atone for failure to begin with the facts, while from Professor 
Karl Mannheim (formerly Professor of Sociology in the Univer- 
sity of Frankfurt and now lecturer in the School) I learnt that the 
facts are never what they seem to be. 

The wide scope of the book renders it impossible for me to 
acknowledge completely the many sources to which I am indebted 
for ideas and information. Most of the material was collected with 
no anticipation of being used for the present purpose. However, 
among the many friends to whom I must express here my pro- 
found gratitude for the insight they have given to me through their 
writings—and even more so in conversation—on the questions 
with which this book is concerned, I must limit myself to men- 
tioning Reinhold Niebuhr, Adolf Léwe, V. A. Demant, Paul 
Tillich, J. H. Oldham, P. I. Painter, and W. A. Visser ’t Hooft. 
To my wife—and this is no mere formality—I owe a debt which 
I can never repay. 

I would also remember with keen appreciation the friendly 
hospitality which the ideas here expressed—tlike the physical 
frame which uttered them—received from the teachers and 
students of those American and Canadian universities and colleges 


in which it has been my good fortune to lecture over the last four 
years. It is for this reason—even if there were not many more— 
that I hope that this book will be a small contribution to Anglo- 
American friendship, for I am convinced that, to borrow the words 
of the most creative figure engaged professionally in British educa- 
tion to-day, “intellectual understanding and spiritual co-operation 
between Great Britain on the one hand and the United States and 
the Dominions on the other hand have become a commanding 

I must emphasize the word, “co-operation,” for Europe can no 
longer play its traditional role as the source and inspiration of 
American learning and scholarship. Indeed, there is much to be 
said for the conclusion that North America will become the intel- 
lectual locus of the world for the next epoch in its history.* What 
is certainly true is that just as the contours of intellectual endeav- 
our moved, when the medieval synthesis collapsed, from the shores 
of the Mediterrranean Sea to the shores of the North Sea, so they 
will move to the Anglo-Saxon shores of the Atlantic Ocean as the 
liberal-rationalist Weltanschauung goes to its grave. It could hardly 
be otherwise when, in less than a decade, continental Europe loses 
and America adds to its own galaxy of talent such figures as (to 
mention only a few names) Thomas Mann and Sigrid Undset in 
literature, Albert Einstein and Peter Debye in the physical sciences, 
Adolf Lowe and Carl Landauer in economics, Otto Piper and 
Paul Tillich in theology; Jacques Maritain and Rudolf Carnap 
in philosophy, and Fritz’ Kunkel and Wolfgang ‘Kohler in 
psychology. . 

Last, but by no means least, f must express my thanks to the 
librarians of the University of California and the University of 
Toronto who accorded me staff privileges during the months in 
which these pages received their final literary form. Separated as 
I was from my own books (a circumstance which accounts for my 
occasional inability to give complete reference to the quotations I 
have used), I shall never forget the patience of the catalogue 
assistants as they replied to my—apparently—quite unrelated 
questions. At one moment I would be tracing a book on the history 
of cement and at the next my attention would be riveted on 


educational theory in Nazi Germany or the history of university 
settlements. Therein was revealed a perfect symbol of the problem 
toward the solution of which I hope that this book is some contri- 
pution: the subject matter of this inquiry does not find its place 
in any single department of the contemporary university. The 
lines of division between the separate schools of science, law, com~- 
merce, theology, medicine and the like derive their meaning 
from a world which is passing away. Its Geist of rational individu- 
alism expressed itself in politics as representative democracy, in 
religion as liberal Protestantism, in thought as the scientific move- 
ment and in economic life as capitalism. Correspondingly, from 
each of these angles, the liberal democratic university shows the 
influence of this Geist in the “‘lifelessness”’ of all its activities. 

One last word. Perhaps it is foolish to expect the new intellec- 
tual reformation to take place from within the universities. An 
Englishnran can never forget that during England’s century of 
genius from 1774—the year of Joseph Priestley’s discovery of . 
oxygen—to 1859—the year of the publication of Charles Darwin’s 
Origin of Species—her unsurpassed contribution to the massive 
structure of modern science was being built outside the universities 
by Dalton, Priestley, Davy, Faraday, Joule, Wallace and Darwin 
while original and creative scientific work in the universities was 
almost non-existent. The situation in the humanities was little 
better, for the leading figures in history were men like Grote and 
Macaulay; in philosophy, Spencer and J. S. Mill; and in eco- 
nomics and politics, Ricardo, Bagehot and (since he worked and 
was buried in London, may we not add?) Karl Marx. It may well 
be, therefore, that, in this century too, the universities may fail to 
see that “new occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good 
uncouth.” Indeed, like Adolf Lowe, I do not expect that our age 
will produce a positive and creative solution to the problem 
exhibited in the following pages. To quote his words: 

All we can do by way of independent experiment is preparation of a creative 
minority for the moment when a real break through will become possible. This 
moment will be determined by developments in the political and social rather 
than in the educational sphere. A parallel preparation in the educational 
sphere is indispensable because man has to be formed for his future political 
task. To overlook, however, the restricted power of any educational effort 
which is not fostered by political and social reality, would be a hopeless 
idealism. The two spheres interact during the process of transformation no less 
than in periods of stability.‘ 

In a letter to the author. 


To such a task of preparation this book is offered as a contribution 
to contemporary discussion. That there is such a minority as that 
to which Léwe refers I cannot doubt. But too often the university 
teacher who is aware of the problem feels that, in view of the many 
» demands on his time, it is too much for him. One such teacher, a 
professor of agricultural chemistry, aptly epitomized the situation 
for himself and many others when he said to me: “I know that 
there is a problem. I know, too, that my colleagues and I are 
evading it: but what opportunity have I left to deal with it, after 
Thave taught my classes, supervised my students’ laboratory work, 
fought the ever losing’ battle of keeping up with the literature in 
my special field of soil chemistry and devoted sufficient time to my 
own research work to maintain my intellectual respectability?. I 
think that we university teachers need a book which would do for 
us what ‘orientation courses’ are supposed to do for our first year 

May this book, by its failings, inspire or provoke someone to 
write one which will better fill such a need! 

Arnotp S. Nasu. 
Easter Monday, 1944. 


io. Professor Adolf Léwe of the New School for Social Research, 

New York; to Professor Reinhold Niebuhr and Professor 
Paul Tillich of Union Theological Seminary, New York; to Pro- 
fessor Liston Pope and Dean Luther A. Weigle of Yale University 
Divinity School; to Professor Donald Tewkesbury of Teachers’ 
College, Columbia University, New York; to Dr. Paul Braisted of 
the Hazen Foundation; to Professor Peter Brieger and Professor 
Hardolph Wasteneys of the Departments of Fine Art and Bio- 
chemistry respectively in the University of Toronto: for reading 
the manuscript in part or in whole. 

To Professor John CG. Bennett of Union Theological Seminary, 
New York, Canon Alan Richardson of Durham Cathedral, the 
Rev. F. B. Welbourn and the Rev. Ronald Preston of the Student 
Christian Movement and Dr. John Coleman of the Department of 
Mathematics in Queen’s University, Ontario, for reading the 
galley proofs and for much wise counsel. 

To the late Archbishop of Canterbury, to Professor Albert 
Einstein, to Professor Reinhold Niebuhr, to Professor Adolf Lowe, 
to Professor Harrison Elliott, to Dr. Leonard Browne, to Dr. 
William Brown, to Professor John Macmurray and to Dean 6. 8. 
Brett for their graciousness in allowing me to quote from private 
correspondence and conversation with me. 

To the respective publishers of the Spectator, the Guardian and 
the Student Movement in England, of the Christian Century and 
Religion in Life in the United States, of the Canadian Student in 
Canada and of the Student World in Switzerland, for permission to 
incorporate in this book the substance of material which originally 
appeared in these journals, 



. when it comes to the direction of human affairs, all these 
universities . . . have far less influence upon the conduct of human 
affairs, than, let us say, an intractable newspaper proprietor, an un- 
scrupulous group of financiers or the leader of a recalcitrant minority.” 





“It is possible to get an education in an American’ University.” 


PROFESSOR of education in an American university, which 
A claims to be the largest in the world, subdued to awed 
silence a meeting of students with the remark that the commonest 
occasions, of death among university students are suicide and 
motoring accidents at high speed. She then added that these two 
causes are more closely related than a would-be wit might point 
out; they have their common origin in a desire to escape life. In 
the one case it is by a deliberate effort to give up physical life. In 
the second it is born of an unconscious urge to flee from the bore- 
dom of an everyday existence made up of lectures, libraries and 
laboratory work into the fascinating but unreal world of speed for 
its own sake. ; 

This sense of purposelessness is exhibited most clearly at the 
point of transition where a student becomes a teacher in‘the 
universities of America. In an evaluation of the quality of univer- 
sity teaching in the sober pages of The Bulletin of the American 

1 British readers may legitimately substitute “British” for ““American.”—A. S, N. 


Association of University Professors, the author, I. L. Kandel, writes:* 
“The young aspirant blithely enters on an academic career... . 

_ Rarely, if ever, will he hear anything about the human meanings 
‘of either scholarship or research, and still more rarely, if at all, 
will he have been confronted with the idea that his major con- 
cern will be with human beings, students, at an important stage 
of their educational development.” Similarly, in the equally 
responsible pages of the Annual Report of the President of the 
Carnegie Corporation we read:* “All over the country teaching © 
and other vacancies are being filled by degrees, not by men and 
women, the appointing bodies accepting the diplomas as a sub- 
stitute for the tiresome process of really finding out something as 
to the professional and personal qualifications of individual 
human beings.” The cynic. might comment that therefore 
American universities are in a worse plight than those at the end 
of the Middle Ages, for then the dead counters of Scholasticism 
were substituted for living ideas, whereas in America to-day we 
allow the bodies with appropriate labels to draw salaries irrespec- 
tive of whether they are inhabited by living minds. 

The situation in other parts of the English-speaking world is no 
better. A teacher in the University of Cambridge graphically ex- 
pressed the distrust of students in their teachers and in what they 
are being taught in a letter to The Times: 

Our students are missing a sense of values and purpose. They begin to feel 
that finding a career resolves itself into seeking a niche in a society, which we 

_ assume to be permanent, but which actually is in danger of being destroyed 
by the very forces which we are teaching them to use. They fear that we univer- 
sity teachers are the blind leading the blind, and they vaguely hope that we 
shall not fall together into the ditch. * 

That such an estimate is not an isolated protest from one British 
university is evident to all who care to read the pages of David M. 
Paton’s Blind Guides, a penetrating, impressionistic study of life in 
one of the “‘modern”’ universities. He writes:+ 

. . . very few students have compelling convictions. Like their relatives and 
friends, they regard the possession of compelling convictions not as a privilege 
or even as a crime, but rather as a luxury. That kind of conviction is un- 
familiar which drives you to do something spectacular (that of the Communist, 

2 October, 1940, p. 453. 3 For 1999, P- 37+ 

* (London, 1939), B- 17. Similarly, a natural scientist, speaking from the vantage 
point of that of headmaster of one of England’s leading schools, soberly remarks, 
“When we consider the greatness of the universities’ opportunities, we cannot fail to 
be concerned by the little that is being accomplished.” W. G. Humphrey in The Christian 
and Education, p. 29 (London, 1940). 


like John Cornford dying in Spain, or the Christian, like Ni¢méller in a con- 
centration camp), or which keeps you alive and whole in depressing circum- 

That all is not well in English universities is evident, too, from 
the tendency to hit out at one’s elders and at established customs, 
loyalties and practices, as illustrated by the famous Oxford “King 
or Country”. resolution. A sober-minded German educationist 
sees® a relation between the passing of this resolution and Hitler’s 
vision of world domination. “When Hitler learned that Oxford 
youth . . . decided to refuse to fight for King and country he saw 
his throne in Buckingham Palace safely erected.’*? When one 
remembers the part that Oxford has played in British political 
life, Hitler’s mistaken analysis of the temper.of British youth can 
be understood. The debate itself was the product of a demand by 
these students for a contact with reality which they were not 
receiving from their teachers. Like, all protests born of strong 
emotional feeling, the students did not say what they meant. If the 
resolution had been couched, “This house will fight against 
Fascist aggression,” it would have been passed and by the same 
votes which defeated the original motion! 

Moreover, this failure of the English universities to give a sense 
of purpose to their students has social results nearer home than 
international affairs. The university which sent out 2,800 appeals 
for money to its graduates and received 79 replies* is by no means 
unique: : : 

It is now clear that when the Head of the Institute of Education 
in the University of London said’ that: “There is something 
amiss, surely, when, with young people, their strictly educational 
activities, and their often painful struggles to make sense of their 
world run in quite distinct channels,” he was speaking not only 
of students in the universities where he has taught, the British 
Dominions and London, but that he has summed up the position 
in the whole Anglo-Saxon world. His further warning to members 
of an older generation is necessary and salutary. 

Little in the way of settled assurance is possible for this generation, and the 

experiences of the elders is less relevant to the needs of the young, to the kind 
of world in which the young will have to live, than at any other timein history.® 

a Reinhold Schairer in the Frank Aydelotte Lecture at Swarthmore College, October 
16, 1941. % 
® Quoted in the (1939) report of The Conference of Educational Associations (London, 
: 1999), by Helen M. Wodehouse, p. 280. 
i ee Clarke in A Review of Educational Thought (London, 1937), p. 23- 
., P. 21. 


Many writers, especially in the United States, have sought to 
discover the source of this lack of conviction about the things that 
matter among university students. Archibald MacLeish, the 
Librarian of Congress, finds it in the influence of the novels of 
writers like Hemingway, Remarque and Aldington. The last- 
named of these writers laconically pointed out in reply that ‘‘most 
students had hardly ever heard of these writers, still less have read 
them.”® The Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Henry Morgenthau, 
Jr., finds the source of this mood elsewhere. He maintained, in an 
address to the graduating class of Amherst College, that “‘there was 
widespread disillusionment and cynicism among to-day’s college 
youth because of the failure of the last war to produce a better 
world society.” 1° If that were true there would be less cause for 
concern since at least it would indicate that students on a large 
scale took moral values seriously in the sphere of economic and 
political problems. But in point of fact the trouble goes much 
deeper than Mr. Morgenthau imagines. What is being questioned 
is whether any values of any kind are worth seeking rather than 
whether it is possible to have faith in a society which, like the 
individuals within it, fails to practise what it preaches. James 
Angell McLaughlin, of the Harvard Law School; comes much 
nearer the truth when he points out that this attitude of cynicism 
and disillusion indicates “serious failure in education. ... We have 
in effect told our youth that they ought to do a better job than we 
have done; but we have failed to implant in them faiths which we 
never thought of questioning. 274k 

The real crisis in the universities of to-day has its origin in the 
crisis in liberal] capitalist democracy, for a university, like any 
other social institution, expresses both the vices and virtues of the 
social order in which it exists. Thus to examine the crisis in the 
world of learning is to examine the crisis in liberal capitalist 
democracy. Yet only a slavish devotion to a doctrinaire Marxism 
will ignore the fact that a university, like society itself, is not a 
simple function of the economic system from which it draws its 
support. For example, the universities of America and England 
have many resemblances arising from the fact that they owe their 
continued existence to the successful working of the semi-planned 

®Sce article This Pre-war Generation by Mortimer J. Adler, Harper’s Magazine 
October, 1940, p. 525. 

10 Associated Press report—date line June 14, 1941. 

U1 Letter to The New York Times, July 11, 1940. 


economic system which obtains in each country. But the univer- 
sities of the two nations also express the divergencies of their social 
structures. The American universities are the product of the 
struggle between, on the one hand, an unconsciously accepted 
aristocratic theory of education in a capitalist society, and, on the 
other hand, a conscious acceptance of Jeffersonian democracy, 
continuously fed by the aspirations of those who, over the last 
hundred years, have fled from a class-ridden and tyrannical 
Europe. This contradiction is perfectly symbolized in the uneasy 
side-by-side existence of the ready social acceptance of students 
who work their way through college and the pernicious would-be 
social stratification of fraternities and sororities whose names 
required for their description the decent obscurity of the alphabet 
of one of the so-called dead languages. The English universities 
are the product of a struggle between, on the one hand, a con- 
sciously accepted aristocratic theory of education in a capitalist 
society which has still many links with its feudal origin and, on the 
other hand, the most virile revolutionary-democratic tradition 
which the world has even seen.!2 

It is because the English universities are so much nearer, his- 
torically speaking, to the feudalistic age that publication too often 
or too early by university teachers is frowned upon. Productivity 
in the feudal age among the landowners was not a virtue but an 
inelegance. The landowner lives by renting out his land to pro- 
ducers but the virtue of the business man is himself to increase pro- 
duction. That is why American universities—existing in a capital- 
ist society unqualified by any remnants of feudal and aristocratic 
traditions—tend more to judge the worth of a university by results; 
for example, by the number of publications of its teachers or the 
percentage of Ph.D.s on its staff. This tendency has increased to 
such a pitch that a prominent American banker, Eli Jackson 
Reynolds, has been moved to say that “the men of the universities 
seem to worship the fetish of quantity production. They boast the 
largest faculties and student bodies, and the greatest number of 

‘The last few decades have seen the fall of many social barriers 
which have furnished the ancient universities of England—in view 
of the complete lack of proportion between resources available and 

32 E.g. when it goes to war it puts labour leaders in the Cabinet and knights in jail, 

13 In an address given during the Convocation marking the fiftieth anniversary of 
Stanford University, June 20, 1941. 


scholarship produced as compared with a small modern univer- 
sity like Sheffield—with their chief claim to fame. Their ideal has 
been aristocratic; the mode of conferment of degrees grew out of 
the custom associated with the bestowal of a knighthood rather 
than admission to the original universitas, which was a craftsmen’s 
guild or a corporation of merchants. The most recent statistics 
indicate that for some years a quarter of the graduates of Oxford 
and Cambridge had received their primary education at a publicly 
owned elementary-school. However, this attempted democratizing 
of these ancient halls of learning has not been without its sad 
results. Speaking of the British universities as a whole but in 
particular of Oxford University of which he was so distinguished 
a head, A. D, Lindsay has aptly summarized? the present state of 
affairs in the following words: 

The price we are paying for the democratization or the semi-democratization 
of our secondary and university education is that education is producing an 
intelligentsia in the worse sense of that term. We have of recent years constructed. 
a ladder from the primary school to the University, but the conditions under 
which the boys of poor parents have to climb that ladder are long and excessive 
preoccupation with examinations and nothing but examinations, and almost 
enforced neglect of the other sides of education, the training of body and 
character which the secondary schools as well as the public schools provide. 

‘Such have been the results of the British solution to the problem 
of the “aristocratic” university in a democracy. The American 
solution has been to place university education on a mass basis, 
Thus 12:7 per cent of elementary school children enter a univer- 
sity or a college or a professional school which claims to give 
teaching of university status.16 The result is that, in the caustic 
words of the President of the University of Chicago: 

A student above the grade of moron can proceed to the Bachelor’s degree 
with only a few faint gestures toward the higher learning. . . . There is so little 
hard work in the ordinary college curriculum that students can support them- 
selves without damaging their grades. This is the net result of all the studies 
of self-support and scholastic standing that have been made in the last twenty- 
five years.16 . : 

It is significant to note that Nazi Germany solved the problems 
arising from the democratizing of the German universities in a 

14 In a letter to The Times, January 28, 1941. See also the same writer’s Religion, 
Science, and Society (Oxford, 1943), pp. 49 f. 

15 W. H. Cowley in article, The University in the United States af America, in. The 
University Outside Europe, edited by Edward Bradby (London, 1939), p. iii. 

eS A ee 


drastic fashion. It brought the process to an abrupt end and 
admission became open only to an élite chosen in accordance with 
criteria based on political reliability.1?7 But fortunately this way is 
not open to those countries which still proclaim allegiance to 
liberal democratic forms of government and the cardinal problem 
of the place of the university in a democratic society cries to the 
heavens for a solution. 

During the last century, and up to the great depression, the 
universities of the liberal democratic countries had accepted a 
theory of the relation between society and the university which 
was the product of an uneasy marriage between what can be 
called the ‘“‘spectator” attitude towards life and the ‘“‘ambulance”’ 
theory of the responsibility of a university to the social 
order. : 

The spectator theory is epitomized in the aphorism that truth 
must be pursued for its own sake. Plato is usually castigated, as for 
example by Lancelot Hogben-in his Dangerous Thoughis,1* for 
launching this theory on the world. Plato was responsible for many 
ideas whose influence on European education has been calamitous. 
The separation between vocational education and liberal educa- 
tion is among them. However, the idea that truth must be pur- 
sued for its own sake was not oné of them. In Plato’s time, as A. N. 
Whitehead drily remarks,1® “the age of professors had not yet 
arrived” and he goes on to add that in Plato’s view “‘the enter- 
tainment of ideas is intrinsically associated with an inward 
ferment, an activity. of subjective feeling, which is at once imme- 
diate enjoyment, and also an appetition which melts into action.” 
This conviction is a long way from the modern idea that know- 
ledge must be pursued for its own sake, as it is defended for 
example by Abraham Flexner in his well-known book, Universities: 
American, English and German.?° At times Flexner is driven to a 
peculiar interpretation of the history of science; thus, he main- - 
tains®1 that “chemistry made no progress as long as men were 
concerned immediately to convert base metal into gold’ and he 
implies that chemistry only made significant advances by ignoring 

17 For Adolf Hitler’s exposition of the ideas behind ‘this scheme, according to 
Hermann Rauschning, see the latter’s Hitler Speaks (London, 1939). 

18 London, 1939. - 

‘19 In Adventure of Ideas, Cambridge, 1933, p. 189. 

20 (Oxford, 1931). More recently Flexner seems to have qualified his previous 

Position and he argues for “the usefulness of useless knowledge” in an article with 

that title in Harper's Magazine for October, 1939. 
81 Loc. cit., p. 15. 


practical ends. Although this view of the matter can still be found 
in many elementary text-books of chemistry, it is not one which 
would be defended by more modern chemists who have turned 
historian. : : 

The real fact of the matter is that progress in chemistry was 
achieved when chemists ceased attempting the (then) impossible 
and tried the possible. In other words they became rational. Thus 
Franciscus Sylvius, who formulated early in the seventeenth cen- 
tury the concept of chemical affinity—and who, incidentally, 
founded the first university scientific laboratory—was just as 
“utilitarian” as a typical alchemist like Nicolas Flamel. As a 
professor of medicine, Sylvius was interested in the chemistry of 
the digestive processes and it was from such “practical’’ studies 
that he derived the basic features of the theory of acids, bases and 

In pursuing such socially useful scientific researches, Sylvius, 
like his contempoary investigators, was following the example of 
Galileo who, in the words of the doyen of British historians of 
science, “more than any other man, introduced the change in our 
manner of thinking that broke with ancient and led,to modern 
science.”22 Galileo’s attitude to the relation between scientific 
knowledge and human activity is aptly symbolized by the opening 
pages of his epoch-making Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche 
intorno a due nuoue Scienze,* where he finds the starting point for his 
presentation of his revolutionary theories—as well as for the 
theories themselves—in his discussions with the skilled artisans in 
the arsenals of Venice. 

This close connection between scientific discovery and practical 
application was wellnigh universally accepted less than twenty 
years after Galileo’s death. In the British Museum among the 
papers of Robert Hook, perhaps the greatest experimental scien- 
tist of his generation, there is a statement dated 1663, describing 
the aim of the Royal Society of London, which had been founded 
three years before. It runs as follows: 

The business and design of the Royal Society is—To improve the knowledge 
of naturall things, and all useful Arts, Manufactures, Mechanick practises, 
Engynes and Inventions by Experiments. 

22 Charles Singer, A Short History of Science (Oxford, 1941), p. 212. 

23 Translated by Henry Crew and Alfonso de Salvio as Dialogues Concerning Two New 
Sciences (New York, 1914). ‘ 

% Quoted by C. R. Weld in his A History of the Royal Society (London, 1848), Vol. I, 

‘oe ate 


Indeed, when Sir Christopher Wren drew up the draft of the 
preamble to the proposed Charter of the Royal Society, he boldly 
affirmed the usefulness of scientific research in the following 

The Way to so happy a Government, we are sensible, is in no manner more 
facilitated than by promoting of useful Arts and Sciences, which, upon mature 
Inspection, are found to be the Basis of civil Communities and free Govern- 
ments, and which gather Multitudes, by an Orphean Charm, into Cities, and 
connect them in Companies; that so, by laying in a Stock, as it were, of several 
Arts, and Methods of Industry, the whole Body may be supplied by a mutual 
Commerce of each others peculiar Faculties; and consequently that the 
various Miseries, and Toils of this frail Life, may, by as many various Expe- 
dients, ready at Hand, be remedied, or alleviated; and Wealth and Plenty 
diffused in just Proportion to every one’s Industry, that is, to every one’s 
Deserts.25 3 

This argument commended itself to the monarch, Charles the 
Second, whose royal patronage was sought, and he readily 
approved this preamble to the charter which concluded: 

And whereas we are informed that a competent number of persons of 
eminent learning, ingenuity and honour, concording in their inclinations and 
studies towards this employment, have for some time accustomed themselves 
to meet weekly and orderly to confer about the hidden causes of things, with a 
design to establish certain and correct uncertainty in philosophy, and have by 
their labour in the disquisition of Nature to prove themselves real benefactors 
of mankind; and that they already made a considerable Progress by divers 
useful and remarkable discoveries, inventions and experiments in the improve- 
ment of Mathematics, Mechanics, Astronomy, Navigation, Physics and 
Chemistry, we have determined to grant our Royal favour, patronage, and all 
due encouragement to this illustrious assembly, and so beneficial and laudable 

* an enterprise.26 

Among these early pioneers in the field of scientific investiga- 
tion, no one saw more clearly or urged more strongly that a prac- 
tical and utilitarian motive was basic to their enterprise than the 
aristocrat Robert Boyle. He published a book on the relation of 
science to technology with the significant title, Usefulness of Natural 
Philosophy, and, in a letter to Marcombes, October 22, 1646,27 he 
wrote, “The other humane studies I apply myself to are natural 
philosophy, the mechanics, and husbandry, according to the 

28 Loc. cit., p. 120. : 

%6 Ibid., p. 121, : 
27 Quoted by J. F. Fulton in his article: Roher? Boule and Use TePesonce cep Thocco hs c,h 


principles of our new philosophical college, that values no know- 
ledge, but as it hath tendency to use.” 

Boyle and his contemporaries had moved so far from the 
typically Greek attitude toward manual labour and knowledge, 
that by 1667 the first historian of the- ‘Royal Society, Bishop 
Thomas Sprat, could write,?* “Invention is an Heroic thing, and 
plac’d above the reach of a low and vulgar Genius.” 

By the turn of the century even mathematics had been brought 
into the utilitarian tent and in 1701 J. Arbuthnot wrote an Essay 
on the Usefulness of Mathematical’ Learning.2® 

True indeed are Lancelot Hogben’s words: 

Great formative periotls in the record of science have occurred when scientific 
investigators have been interested in the social uses to which their discoveries 
are put. ... If there is any lesson to be learnt from the history of modern science 
it is this. Professional exaltation of theory to the detriment of practice is ee 
hall mark of cultural decay.2° 

The statement that truth must be pursued for its own sake has 
been too often a polite way of saying that academic knowledge, 
particularly in the social sciences, must never be sullied by con- 
tact with the realities of the hidden struggles within society. A 
story is told that toward the close of the last century a professor, 
clad precariously in a zinc bath, one morning was seen by a college 
porter jigging merrily round the quadrangle of the college. In 
reply to the agitated requests of the shocked porter that he should 
seek the shelter of the porter’s lodge, the professor airily waved 
him away, pointing out, with lordly dignity, that the porter 
seemed unaware that he, the professor, was now an oyster. Over 
port in the senior common room that same evening the professor’s 
colleagues commiserated with each other over the madness of their 
colleague, for had he not the previous evening shown conclusively 
that at last he had satisfied himself that he had worked out a 
theory in pure mathematics which could never be used by 
engineers, or any other practically minded person, for any use 
whatsoever? A young scholar, a visitor for the evening being 
looked over as a future fellow, cynically pointed out that since 
insanity is a refusal to face reality, their unfortunate colleagué was 
simply mad on both occasions, the only difference being that 

28 P. 392. The History of the ‘Royal Society (London, 1667). 

29 See p. 410 of his Life and Works, ed. by G. A. Aitkens (1892), (Reference from 
G. N. Clarke, Science and Social Welfare in the Age of Newton, p. 86, Oxford, 1937.) 

80 P, 242 of Dangerous Thoughts, London, 1939. 



now it was publicly recognized by the college authorities. He was 
not invited to be a fellow of the college. 

There is considerable truth in the contention that the ideal of 
the disinterested student, pursuing knowledge “for its own, sake,” 
simply expresses the interest of those dominant groups within 

society who have every reason for insuring that, although scientific 
knowledge may be used in industrial enterprise, yet it shall not be 
used in the sphere of economic reconstruction nor to shed light on 
the less reputable offspring of the marriage between factory 
production and a capitalist economy. 

One should add, lest the truth in the foregoing argument be 
dismissed as Marxism, that the Soviet régime also has its clichés 
which, backed up by the threat of, at best, exile and, at worst, 
liquidation, protect the interests of the privileged groups of 
bureaucrats whose prestige and security rest on the continuation 
of the Stalin régime. In every society there have been and always 
will be, certain groups enjoying privileges—the prelates and 
barons of the Middle Ages, the entrepreneur and his satellites of a 
capitalist society, the bureaucrat of any planned economy. And 
in every society, “getting at the facts” will meet with the opposi- 
tion of these privileged groups since their self-confidence, as well 
as their social prestige and security, rests upon a particular inter- 
pretation of “‘the facts of the case.” 

In actual fact, however, even in its heyday in the nineteenth 
century, this spectator theory was never adopted in practice. It 
was during this century that the University of Oxford, for ex- 
ample, modelled its most important course—Literee Humaniores or 
“Greats”—so that it would produce the political rulers who could 
function in the rapidly expanding commercial empire which was 
being built up at home as well as abroad. It was based on the 
synoptic study of classical culture which, as Adolf Léwe suggests, #1 

', .. in spite of the wide gulf of time separating it from the nineteenth century, 
had two important features in common with it: the driving force in both 
civilizations was the rational and moral autonomy of individuals; and in both 
cases it was on the outlook and conduct of a privileged minority as judged bya 
popular majority that the order of the whole rested. 

This conviction that learning must be related to social need was 
(and is) reflected, with the curious exception of theology, through- 
out the whole Oxford curriculum. Thus the first professor. of 


Military History, Spenser Wilkinson, in his inaugural lecture in © 
1909, said that “I conceive of the University as a community of 
workers for England,” whose task in education as distinct from 
research is “the training of servants for the nation, a training for 
citizenship and for that statesmanship which is but citizenship 
raised to a higher power.” 3? ‘ 

The social life of the Oxford college, represented by debates at 
the Oxford Union and games in the afternoon, completed the 
training of the “gentleman-amateur” who in home politics as a 
cabinet minister or in the Established Church as a bishop or in the 
“far-flung” Empire as governer of a colony, could be a worthy 
son of his college. 

Oxford is not the only university which has trained for the pro- 
fessions. In fact, at no time since the earliest university in Europe 
was founded in the tenth century at Salerno in Italy for the train- 
ing of physicians or, at a later date in England, King’s College, 
Cambridge, was founded in 1316 for the special purpose of pro- 
viding ‘‘clerks for the King’s service,” or, in the United States, 
Harvard University was founded by the early pioneers, who, to 
use their own words, “‘dreaded to leave an illiterate Ministry to 
the Churches when our present Ministers shall lie in the dust,” 
have universities restricted themselves to the teaching or pursuit 
of abstract learning. What makes Oxford unique is that, 
although it may be the home of lost causes, it can be the mother of 
(minor) revolutions. Thus the same sense of public responsibility, 
which drove its sons into lonely outposts of Empire, provided 
Samuel Barnett with a ready audience when in 1875 he made his 
first visit and argued that Oxford could no longer a matter 
for unconcern the wretched conditions in the East End of London 
where, as in other large cities, there lived herded together the 
unhappy victims. of an industrial civilization. Barnett himself 
records that his hearers : 

82 Pp. 4-5, Oxford, ‘1909. J 
* 33 In the early years of the present century, Alfred Marshall sought to justify the 
increasing place which had been given to the study of economics in the university on 
the ground that the nation had “an interest in the supply of trained economists” and 
that “the curriculum would afford a preparation for business & public service.” The 
New Cambridge Curriculum in Economics (London, 1903), pp- 9 and 14. 

34 P. 12 of his chapter University Settlements in University and Social Settlements, edited 
by Will Reason (London, 1898). For a contemporary account by Barnett of his appeal 
to Oxford men, see the paper Settlements of University Men in Great Towns which he read 
at St. John’s College, Oxford, in 1883. It is printed as Appendix A of Toynbee Hall by 


+ +» especially those who directly or indirectly felt the influence of T. H. 
Green, were asking for some other way than that of institutions by which to 
reach their neighbours. They heard the “bitter cry” of the poor; they were con- 
scious of something wrong underneath modern progress; they realized that free 
trade, reform bills, philanthropic activity, and missions had made neither 
health nor wealth. They were drawn to do something for the poor. Charity 
organization societies had taught them not to give doles; they had turned from 
preachers who said, “Give up your business and live as monks”; they were not 
contented with reformers who came saying, “Change the laws, and all will be 
well,” nor philanthropists who said, ‘‘Support our charity to meet the need,” 
nor with religious teachers who said, “Subscribe to our church or mission.” . 

Barnett’s pioneer work was epoch making; more than a thous- 
and university settlements came into existence throughout the 
world in less than fifty years after the opening of Toynbee Hall at 
Whitechapel in 1885. The first settlement outside England was 
founded only two years later in Delancey Street, New York City, 
by Stanton Coit, a liberal humanitarian who had spent three 
months as a resident visitor in Toynbee Hall in the early part of 
1886. Jane Addams also was inspired by a visit to Whitechapel 
and in conjunction with Ellen Starr founded Hull House, Chicago, 
in 1889. 

It is an illuminating commentary on the settlement movement 
that the leaders of working-class movements in all countries have 

_viewed it as one calculated to ease rather than remove the ten- 
sions in our modern industrial society. Such an estimate, it must 
be admitted, is, in the main, substantially justified. There have 
been notable exceptions; Toynbee Hall, for example, has been a 
pioneer of social investigation and its officers and residents have 
sought—albeit somewhat cautiously—to implement their findings. 
Their caution, too, has not been without justification. To any who 
would urge that the university settlement should enter the arena 
of political controversy they could reply, and with truth, that 
that would mean the departure from impartiality in their investi- 
gations. They could argue, for example, that in America, Jane 
Addams had so vehemently defended the rights of labour unions 
to strike for proper hours and wages that she was incapable of 
seeing a problem from any standpoint other than that of the 
urban industrial worker, a limitation which led her to condemn 
as provincial the farmers of the Chicago hinterland who went on 
strike for a better price for their milk.2* : 

That it is not unfair to regard the set of social ideas behind the 

TS Gan “FRE Melia wader Clad her AT EEA FOR ies ea eek Me. 


settlement movement as a whole as “the ambulance theory’’ of 
social action is evident from the official expression of the aims of 
one of them: 

Oxford House, in Bethnal Green, is established in order that Oxford men 
may take part in the soci&il and religious work of the Church in East London; 
that they may learn something of the life of the poor; may try to better the 
conditions of the working classes as regards health and recreation, mental 
culture, and spiritual teaching; and may offer an example, as far as in them 
lies, of a simple and religious life. 

It is significant that the improvement of the conditions of the 
working-classes was limited to “health and recreation, mental 
cultuie and spiritual teaching.” It was no accident but deliberate 
policy that any attempt to change the economic system—-or 
indeed any intellectual consideration of that possibility—in which 
were produced the industrial depressions whose occurrence made 
poverty inevitable, was excluded. The social function of the settle- 
ments is, as it always has been, to moralize the players and not to 
change the rules of the game. 

One can sum up the impact of the university settlement move- 
ment on society: by saying that, like the Red Cross in wartime, it 
helps to keep life from degenerating into a consistent inhumanity 
but it does not materially alter the struggle itself, Like the Red 
Cross, the settlement movement neither wins wars nor abolishes 
them. Therein is revealed both its genius and its limitations. 

However, since the great depression, there has been a growing 
awareness that the scholar and scientist in relation to society must 
accept the role of participant. Among university teachers this 
recognition has been given moving literary expression by a Har- 
vard professor of mathematics, P. W. Bridgman, in the opehing 
words of his The Intelligent Individual and Society.** 

As I grow older a note of intellectual dissatisfaction becomes an increasingly 
insistent overtone in my life. I am becoming more and more conscious that 
my life will not stand intelligent scrutiny, and at the same time my desire to 
lead an intelligently well-ordered life grows to an almost physical intensity. 
I realize that I have only a murky awareness of what is going on. I can ask 
myself all sorts of questions that I cannot answer, yet which I feel I ought to 
be able to answer. I am not at all sure that my actions are decently well 
adapted to procure the ends which I have in view; nor, in the few cases where 
T attain to this moderate degree of self-consciousness, am J at all sure that the 
ends which I have in view would be pleasing to me if I could envisage all the 
consequences. In short, I am not able to answer any question with regard to 

@% New York, 1998. 


my life, whether concerning fact or motive or chance of success, with even an 
approach to that clearness and completeness which I demand with regard to 
mny scientific activities, . 

The things which bother me most seem to involve my relations with other 
people. The irrationality of the relations of people to each other obtrudes itself 
more and more. Iam coming to appreciate and emotionally accept the idea 
that man in present society is more than he realizes an irrational animal, and 
that most of his social reasoning is a veneer to give a fictitious respectability to 
actions dictated by emotion or by a common sense which has eluded analysis. 

* Not one of our social institutions actually rests on the secure foundation that 
we so easily assume when we refute the sceptic or instruct our young. Never has 
any institution been justified in terms that anyone capable of close thinking 
could accept without stultification. Yet if ever the tragic need for close thinking 
and intelligent convictions on social questions was obvious it is at the present. 
The problem of how I can live an intelligently satisfying life in this environ 
ment presses upon me. 

It is significant that when one of Bridgman’s fellow mathema- 
ticians—G. H. Hardy of Gambridge—defends his place in society, 
he does so, after admitting that, generally speaking, higher 
mathematics is useless, in a book with the revealing title A 
Mathematician’s Apology.3? ; 

Even philosophers cannot stand aloof from the social problem 
of to-day. One of them, Jacob Lowenberg, writes:2# 

+ under ordinary circumstances it is well for the philosopher to.remain 
aloof from the political issues and the partisan struggles of the day. But when 
momentous things are at stake detachment becomes impossible. Before the 
depression my interest in the social sciences was largely academic. The depres- 

sion stirred me deeply and led me to reflect deeply on political and economic 

The contention that the scientist has social responsibilities has 
beeh expressed most notably in the volume The Frustration of 
Science,® by a group of eminent British scientists. It is, of course, 
easy to say that this book makes it clear that scientists, like fools, 
rush in where angels fear to tread and to add that in the sphere of 
politics scientists no less than ordinary mortals do not achieve 

3? Cambridge, 1940. 

38 In a note to explain why he wrote the article, Reflections on Recovery, in The American 
Scholar, Vol. 10, p. 382. 

39 London, 1935. Since the publication of 
scientists throughout the world with the social repercussions of their investigations 

1937, on the suggestion of the Academy of Sciences of Amsterdam, whilst both the 
British Association for the Advancement of Science and its American counterpart have 
each formed a special division for the study of the social and international relations 
‘Of Glee ta sark trositices Ses dake ce it 


unanimity of conclusion. One of the authors, Frederick Soddy, 
seeks*° to remove “‘the frustration of science” by replacing finan- 
ciers and politicians in the government of modern society by 
scientists and engineers, whereas one of his fellow authors, J. D. 
Bernal, offers#1 as an alternative solution to the problem the con- 
viction that science should seek a new master instead of big busi- 
ness; presumably, judging from the rest of his writings, the bureau- 
crats of a régime under the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

This reaction of university teachers against the traditional 
notion that the university must stand aloof from the tensions 
within modern society, draws much of its strength from the pom- 
pous fatuity with which the reaction in question has been attacked. 
Thus the Senior Proctor of the University of Oxford in his Annual 
Report for 1936, wrote:4# 

The increasing traffic of Senior members with what I may call the vulgar 
currency of party politics, their closer association with the more controversial 
aspects of undergraduate life, these are new and, in my opinion, disturbing 
phenomena. A reasonable detachment of outlook is the condition precedent 
of education. The maturing mind is more receptive than relevant, sentimental 
rather than sceptical, and it is the jealous care of a tutor to persuade his pupil 
that it is possible to be dispassionate without ceasing to be generous. This task 
is apt to be obscured by the dust of popular recrimination. 

A man who could write such sentences has no realization that 
true impartiality in the Sphere of scholarship does not consist in 
saying that there is much to be said on both sides but rather in 
maintaining that it is expressed in a resolute attempt to discover 
the truth between contending theories. The scholar then has a 
moral duty as a citizen to expound and defend that truth with the 
humility of one who knows that there is a truth which transcends 
his truth but also with the resolution of a man who chooses, know- 
ing with James Russell Lowell, that 

. . the choice goes by forever 
*Twixt that darkness and that light. 

An attempt has been made by J. R. Baker in his The Scientific 
Life (London, 1943) to garb such a point of view in a cloak of 
intellectual respectability. It is difficult to take seriously an author 
who tells his readers that ‘‘planned research is futile” (p. 75) and 

#® Loc. cit., pp. 8-9. * 41 Tbid., p. 78. 
42 Reported in The Times, March 18, 1937. 


that “among scientists conceit and arrogance are rare” (p. 28). 
A more fundamental criticism of Baker’s exposition is that he 
completely ignores the difference between the psychology of scien- 
tific discovery by the individual and the sociology of the scientific 
movement. No one in his senses suggests that the actual dis- 
coveries of the scientist can be planned but that is quite different 
from saying that the general direction along which research should 
go ought not to be and cannot be planned. 

In parenthesis one might add that the true attitude was well 
exemplified in the decision of the Master of Balliol, A. D. Lindsay, 
to fight the Oxford city parliamentary by-election against the 
“Munich” policy of Mr. Neville Chamberlain. 

Among students this recognition that the university is inextri- 
cably caught up in the struggles within society was forcibly illus- 
trated a few years ago in a strike at the London docks. The police 
were called in, not to keep peace between the striking and non- 
striking workmen, but between medical students who volunteered 
to unload ships at the docks and economics students who, with 
equal ignorance of the issues involved, set out to prevent the 
medical students from reaching the docks. The students were told 
by their elders and betters that a strike was not their concern and 
that their business was to study. American students would, and 
presumably have, received the same advice from administrative 
heads in similar situations. That was one reason why isolationism 
with respect to the war against Nazi Germany was so strong in 
some circles in American colleges. The students’ unconscious logic 
was: why interfere in a struggling Europe if I have no concern 
with struggles within my own nation? This logic, on its premises, 
is unassailable. Those university teachers who condemned the 
attitude behind it should have been among the first to admit how 
little awareness of the fundamental principles, in terms of which 
the changes and chances of this fleeting life can clearly be inter- 
preted and understood, they were passing on to their students. 

' They should have been; but, like the rest of their colleagues, they 
failed to see that the liberal democratic university by rejecting any 
’ real attempt to discover and then teach a unified conception of 
life refuses to be a university. It was largely because the totali- 
tarian philosophies presented what appeared to be the only live 
option to the confusion and chaos of the liberal world view, which 
regards each academic subject as autonomous, that students on 


munism. It is for this reason, too, that those students in the univer- 
sities of the Anglo-Saxon world who are alive to economic and 
political realities are easily influenced by Marxism and its 

I am not suggesting that any one of these philosophies of the 
relations between the university and the social order, which I have 
called the spectator theory, the ambulance theory and the partici- 
pant theory, has been either consciously or exclusively held. In 
fact the contrary is more nearly true. They have been present not 
as deliberately held theories but as tendencies influencing policies 
and moulding attitudes. Often all three theories have been held 
simultaneously, a possibility which arises not only from the 
tendency toward confusion to which the human mind is prone but 
also from the undeniable measure of truth in each of them. The 
need of the moment is to discover what that measure of truth really 
is. It is only too easy for, say, the participant theory by way of 
reaction against the spectator theory to degenerate into the notion 
that the universities are service stations for the convenience of a 
democracy that makes ease its god and “‘to furnish the world with 
good doctors and lawyers and chemists, for Mr. Babbitt needs 
them for his comfort.”4* Whatever a érue university is, that is . 
not it. 

Thus to say that the university has obligations to the social order 

_ is not to say that it must satisfy only the demands which society 
can make articulate; a university should seek to make society 
aware of what society ought to want as well as to satisfy those 
wants it readily says it has. There will never be lacking voices to 
make clear those latter wants but society will rarely look with 
equanimity on a university which seeks to criticize contemporary 
norms and standards; yet such a task is indeed inescapable if a 
university seeks to play, as it ought, the former role. However, 
since a university is what it is mainly because the society in which 
it exists is what it is, to indulge in such criticism is to tread the 
painful path of self-criticism. , 

In days like the present the foremost task is to bring into the 
consciousness of society those presuppositions of an epoch which 
are taken for granted—what William James* called the premises 
which are never mentioned. Never have they been better 
scribed than by the late T. E. Hulme in his Speculations. ae 

43 Walter Kotschnig in The University in a Changing World (Oxford, 1932), DP. Js 

44 Pragmatism (London, 1967), p. 8. - 45 (London, 1924), p. 50. 


There are certain doctrines which for a particular period seem not doctrines, 
but inevitable categories of the human mind. Men do not look on them merely 
as correct opinion, for they have become so much a part of the mind, and lie 
so far back, that they are never really conscious of them at all. They do not see 
them but other things through them. It is these abstract ideas at the centre, the 
things which they take for granted, that characterize a period. . . . It is these 
abstract things at the centre, these doctrines felt as facts, which are the source of . 
all the other more material characteristics of a period. 

Following V. A. Demant¢* I shall call “these doctrines felt as 
facts’—dogmas. They are indeed held dogmatically since they 
indicate habitual ways of looking at things. In a sense we can say 
that they cannot be argued about since they inevitably provide 
the counters in terms of which we argue. That is why, if we refer 
to the “‘doctrines”’ of an age as the products of the intellectual 
attempt to give explicit formulation to these dogmas, we can 
always say that the dogmas of a period, or a class, or a nation, 
will transcend and so they can never be completely described by 
the appropriate doctrines. 

The network of the dogmas of our age is liberalism. To say that 
is not to abuse liberalism but to state a fact. All significant dogma 
carries with it a view of man and an interpretation of history. 
According to liberalism man is fundamentally good and his 
inherent goodness is indicated in his increasing capacity, by using 
his intelligence, to solve all the problems that come his way. Such 
is the basis of the liberal belief in progress—the dogma that man, 
like the world itself, is slowly getting better so that history becomes 
a progressive realization of man’s ideals as defects in social and 
economic organization are remedied and education becomes more 
widespread. ; 

Such are the essential outlines of the faith of the typical univer- 
sity teacher of our era in the liberal democratic countries. 
this faith which is now being shaken far more rudely by events. 
than it ever could be by argument. The tragic happenings of the 
last few years have indicated not only the failure of man as man 
but in particular the failure of thinking man. That is why an 
English poet, W. H. Auden, can complain with truth that ‘what 
he saw going on to-day among the masses is the rejection of the 
clerk, the ‘knower’ be he priest, scientist or writer.’’«? The thesis 
ofthe treason of the intellectuals which raised such a storm of 
abuse when it was put forward in the late ’twenties, by 

46 The Religious Prospect (London, 1939), p. 2 
4” At a conference in Queen’s College, Birmingham, England, in 1938. 


Julien Benda, the French literary critic, in his La Trahison des 
cleres has been unfortunately too well vindicated. The intellectuals 
of our age—the modern equivalent to the medieval clerk or clerici— 
have inherited more than their share of the world’s knowledge. 
However, maintains its author, instead of treating that as a right 
with its corresponding duty of inspiring the cultural tradition, 
they have treated it as a privilege, as a right without its duties. 
They have sold their skill, their science, their knowledge to the 
cause of class or nation. Contrary to what some of his critics#® 
suggest, Benda is not arguing—although at times‘? he gives the 
impression of doing so—that the scholar’s task is simply to be con- 
cerned with the truth for its own sake. On the contrary he justifies 
the “clerk’s” descent into the marketplace so long as he does so 
in the name of a value higher than class, race or nation. 

When Gerson entered the pulpit of Notre Dame to denounce the murderers 
of Louis d’Orleans; when Spinoza, at the peril of his life, went and wrote the 
words Ultimi barbarorum on the gates of those who had murdered the de 
Witts; when Voltaire fought for the Calas family; when Zola and Duclaux came 
forward to take part in a celebrated lawsuit (Dreyfus affair); all these “clerks” 
were carrying out their functions as “clerks” in the fullest and noblest manner.5® 

The clerk has every right, adds Benda, to take the part of a race 
or nation—even his own nation or his own race—but only when the 
cause of that nation or race coincides at the time with the cause of 
a justice that transcends his race or nation, Benda’s complaint is 
against the “clerk’’ of the type of his own countryman Barres who 
could say “even if the country is wrong, we must think it is right,” 
or the German theologian, von Harnack, who could discounten- 
ance Bethmann-Hollweg’s apology for the German violation of 
Belgian neutrality in 1914 on the ground that the statesman was 
trying “‘to excuse that which did not need excusing.” 

It is true that Benda has little awareness of the depth of the 
political problem. He does not see with adequate consistency that 
the answer to those “clerks” who “exercise political passions with 
all the characteristics of passion—the tendency to action, the 

48 E.g. by Joseph Needham in his essay, Science, Religion and Socialism, in Christianity 

and the Social Revolution, ed. by John Lewis (London, 1935), p. 421 ff., and by Max 
Lerner in Ideas for the Ice Age (New York, 1941), p. 15. 

4 E.g. p. 43 of the English translation by Richard Aldington (New York, 1998) 
where he defines clercs as “those whose activity essentially is not the pursuit'of 
practical aims, all those who s¢ek their joy in the practice of an art or a science or 
metaphysical speculation.” 

5% Ibid., pp. 50-1. 


thirst for immediate results, the exclusive preoccupation with the 
desired end, the scorn for argument, the excess, the hatred, the 
fixed ideas,”’5? is not to say with Goethe, ‘‘Let us leave politics to 
diplomats and soldiers,” but for the “clerk” to accept freely his 
political responsibility, knowing that he has a loyalty beyond his 
political party or social class or fatherland. Like the Christian, he 
must definitely learn to be in the world but not of it. 

So long as the intelligentsia, like the German intellectuals of the 
pre-Hitler régime, refuse to soil their hands by engaging in politics, 
then the state is left without protest to its fate at the hands of the 
ignorant demagogue who can appeal, like Hitler, to the lowest in 
man. In the modern collectivized world, that means the end of 
free scholarship even in a subject apparently as far removed from 
politics as anthropology. The autobiography, What Hitler Did to 
Us,5® by Eva Lips, the wife of the distinguished anthropologist, 
Julius Lips, who was head of the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in 
Cologne, shows what happened to a scholar like her husband who 
believed that a scientist should be exclusively concerned with 
“truth.” He refused. to use his prestige or to allow his museum to 
‘be used for the propagation of the Nazi racialist doctrines and, 
on Hitler’s accession to power, Lips’ position became untenable. 
He lost his appointment, pension and the opportunity to continue 
his scientific work and in his efforts to retain possession of the 
original material, arduously collected for his famous book, The 
Savage Hits Back,®* he had to fight threats, blackmail, slander and 
ceaseless persecution by the police. The Nazi case against him was 
not even that he was a Socialist or a Pacifist or a Jew. He simply 
sought to be left alone, to be completely “‘unpolitical.” 

Presumably Benda would think that that fact made Lips’ plight 
all the more unfortunate and his treatment all the more unjust. ' 
Yet was not this attitude—of which Lips was simply a typical 
exponent—one cause of that plight? For generations the highest 
minded German university teachers—and indeed the German 
intelligentsia as a whole—had made “‘the search for truth” their 
god and had ignored the misery of the German masses. Like 
Goethe, who, speaking of the indifference of his circle to the 
French Revolution, had said, ‘“We took no notice of news or news- 
papers; our object was to know Man; as for men, we left them to 
do as they chose,” they had refused to go out on to the street, and 
the coast was left clear for the tavern orator whom they despised 


as an ignorant demagogue. World history might have been 
different had they recognized, to use the forceful language of the 
first President of Stanford University, David Starr Jordan, forty 
years before Hitler came to power, that society has “the right to 
expect the scholar to serve as the antidote to the demagogue.” - 
The “‘man in the cheap newspapers,” to use Mrs. Lips’ descrip- 
tion of the Nazi Fihrer on the day he became the German 
Chancellor, had made only too evident in Mein Kampf his estimate 
of the men of knowledge. - 

God knows the Germans have never been lacking in “‘knowledge.” Ger- 
-many’s trouble has been not that the brains governing her were too little 
educated but too fully. The heads of the rulers were stuffed with information 
and empty of instinct, utterly bereft of energy and audacity. 

Why? Because the so-called intellectual class shut itself away from the rest 
of the workaday world. They had no living ties with the classes below them. 
Two results followed: First, this contemptible “Upper Ten Thousand” did not, 
because they could not, understand the masses. Second, they lacked the will 
power which is always stronger in the primitive strata of society. : 

Is it surprising, therefore, that the “unpolitical” professors could 
not recognize—still less comprehend—their fate when it stared 
them in the face and they were helpless before it? Was it enough 
to emerge like Lips and a few others from such a terrible ordeal 
retaining their personal integrity and honour? The answer is a 
decided negative, for the simple fact is that the true “clerk” has a 
political responsibility to save culture from barbarians and a cul- 
tural responsibility to save politics from brutes. There will be in 
any case sufficient “clerks” to prostitute their learning at the 
behest of the brutes and barbarians. . 

I do not suggest that the scholar who accepts his political 
responsibility with the constant qualification arising from a loyalty 
‘beyond his party or his country will have an easy task. During the 
French Revolution the Academy of Science in France was 
abolished mainly because the bulk of its members, consisting of 
elderly scholars, refused to take part in politics. This was not true 
of Lavoisier, and in May, 1793, he lost his head. In reply to those 
who urged that, in view of his services to his country as indicated 
both by the application of his own scientific discoveries and by 

his refusal to desert France and go to England, Lavoisier’s life 
pe ay Ree Mert ane a ee: een. A OMe 5 Fer i ee ne Tree mer Aree 


Republic has no need for learned men. Let Justice take its 
course.” 5¢ 

Although, on the one hand, the modern intellectual has proudly 
remained aloof from politics, yet on the other hand, in no age has 
so much intellectual labour. been given to the provision of doc- 
trines to justify political hates and to demonstrate that one’s own 
‘side is the incarnation of good while its enemy, whether Jews, 
Capitalists or Fascists, is the embodiment of evil, as in our own. 
These doctrines invariably base themselves on the theory of 
evolution in some form or other in the attempt to prove that one’s 
group, be it class or Herrenvolk, is on the wave of the future. It is 
not simply the desire to have Fate, as omnipotence without 
, character, or God, as omnipotence with it, on one’s side. That is 
an old temptation; both rulers and ruled since the dawn of history 
have sought justification for their policies from prophets and 
priests, seers and sages. Thus Henry VIII of England asked for the 
approval of the humanist philosopher, Sir Thomas More, upon 
his proposed course of action just as King Ahab of Israel, centuries 
before, waited upon the verdict of the prophet Micaiah, the son 
of Imlah, before he went to war. In both cases the mind of the 
monarch was already made up and the prophet, for giving un- 
welcome advice, was put in prison and fed with “the water of 
affliction and the bread of affliction.” Men of power, whether 
monarchs or millionaries or Marxists, only allow criticism when 
it does not go so far as to threaten policies, that is, so long as it 
does not embody itself in politics. Thus Kaiser Wilhelm II allowed 
his court, chaplain, Frederick Stroecker, to preach a somewhat 
paternalistic version of Christian socialism until it led to the birth 
of a political party. Then Stroecker’s services were dispensed with. 
We see here why shrewd monarchs, like Frederick the Great of 
Prussia and Katherine II of Russia, employed foreigners in 
Voltaire and Diderot respectively “to speak the truth before 
the king”; foreigners in the nature of things can have little 
political influence and, more important, they can be easily 

What makes unique the contribution of the modern “clerk” 
who has given himself to the intellectual organization of political 
prejudices is that he finds the final justification of his doctrines in 
the “scientific” account of the processes of history. Thus the 
Nazi philosopher, Heidegger, on being appointed Rector of 

54 See Antoine Lavoisier, the Father of Modern Chemistry by D. McKie (London, 1935). 

the University of Freiburg, made a speech whose thesis was: 

The will to the essence of German University is the will to science, meaning 
a will to the historico-spiritual mission of the German Volk as a Volk experienc- 
ing itself in its State. Science and German destiny must attain power especially 
in the essential will.55 

Similarly Communist writers attempt to prove scientifically that 
Marxist socialism is a historical necessity, for can they not say 
with Engels** that “in nature the same dialectical laws of move- 
ment are carried out in the confusion of its countless changes, as 
also govern the apparent contingency of events in History”? It is 
upon this presupposition that Engels in Socialism, Utopian and 
Scientific’ *could set the shape of all subsequent Marxist thought. He 
argued that Marxist socialists (unlike, so he claimed, Utopian- 
democratic socialists or Christian socialists), can base their 
political programme on a scientific analysis of the facts of history 
so that they can grasp the pattern of social evolution from conflict 
to harmony. Thereby, argue Engels and his disciples, Marxist 
socialists will know, with the precision of the scientific thinker, 
when the inherent contradictions of capitalism produce the 
requisite revolutionary situation for a successful Communist 
coup d’ état. 

Both Marxists and Nazis appeal to science (this time biology), ‘as 
the final authority for their opposing views of human nature— 
what German scholars call Anthropologie. By way of justification it 
is solemnly stated in the Niirnberg racial laws that 

There is a greater difference between the lowest forms still called human’ 

and our superior races than between the lowest man and monkeys of the 
highest order. : 

Similarly the English democratic Marxist, L. A. Fenn, justifies** 
his particular view of democracy in terms of an elaborately worked 
out account of the unique character of the human individual as 
indicated by recent biological research. 

And, to,complete the round of the political clock, we have an 
American business-man, turned diplomat, in Joseph E. Davies 
who interprets his laissez-faire conception of human nature in 
terms of biology. In his illuminating and shrewd account of his 

86 Quoted by Aurel Kolnai in The War Against the West (London, 1938), p. 312. 

86 In Dialectics of Nature, ET. by Clemens Dutt (London, 1940}. 

57 London, 1892. For an illuminating treatment of Engels and Science see the 

Labour Monthly Pamphlet with that title by J. D. Berna! (London, 1936). 
88 See his Demacracy and Revolution (London, 1934). 


experience as Ambassador for the United States to the Kremlin, 
Mission to Moscow, he writes:** 

Based on the idea of a selfless society, the state here is constantly threatened 
with the fact that it cannot destroy the instincts of human nature toward self- 
interest. These are imbedded in the glandular, nervous, and physical organisms 
of men and are the resultant of the atavistic forces of the centuries. 

In Great Britain, too, capitalistic critics of Marxism are not far 
behind in claiming the authority of “science” as they seek to apply 
heat if not light to the problems of modern society. The judgment 
of J. M. Keynes* is that in view of its “obvious scientific defici- 
encies ... Marxist Socialism must always remain a portent to the 
historians of Opinion—how a doctrine so illogical and so dull can 
have exercised so powerful and enduring an influence over the 
minds of men, and through them, the events of history.’’¢1 

‘Keynes is by no means the only academic economist who has . 

taken this supercilious attitude toward Marxism. A writer of a 
somewhat different school, F. Y. Edgeworth, opens his review of 
J. S. Nicholson’s Revival of Marxism in the Economic Fournal*? with 
the words: 

We have much sympathy with those who hold that the theories of Marx are 
beneath the notice of a scientific writer. However, the refutation of prevailing 
fallacies has always been recognised as part of the economist’s province. It is 
indeed a peculiarity of our science that its investigations generally start from 
a point which is, so to speak, behind the zero of ignorance. It is necessary to 
escape from error before reaching positive truth: “‘Sapientia prima stultitia 
caruisse.” Accordingly, gratitude is due to Professor Nicholson for having per- 
formed the heavy task of re-examining Das Kapital and other writings of Marx. 
The judgment which many of us have been content to base on samples of this 
literature is not confirmed by a more thorough examination. . . . Even the 
humble merit of consistency was wanting to Marx . . . the importance of his 
theories is wholly emotional. 

So convinced is the modern world that science holds the last 
word that the intellectuals of the organized pacifist movement of 

5° P. 399 (New York, 1941). Fora sustained effort to give academic:respectability 
to the view that “economics, so far as it is a science, is a biological science,” see the 
article Surveying the Boundary Line between Government and Private Enterprise in the Field of 
Business by James M. Barker, in the American Economic Review, Vol. XXXII, No. 1, 
March, 1943. 

80 Pp. 34-5 of The End of Laissez-faire (London, 1926), 

%1 In fairness to Lord Keynes one should add that now he has been converted to an 
under-consumptionist analysis of the trade cycle (see his General Theory of Employment, 
London, 1936) he would not express himself to-day in such extravagant terms. 

82 Vol: 31, p. 71. 


Great Britain recently published a pamphlet under the title of and 
dealing with the rhetorical question: “Is Pacifism Scientific or 
Sentimental?” Their reply, it need hardly be said, is that pacifism 
and not militarism is accorded the approval of the great god of our 
age, science. 

That science is becoming a kind of established religion for the 
masses is to be expected when it has its endowed institutions to 
which rich men leave large sums in much the same spirit with 
which ‘the medieval merchant endowed chantries and when, 
amid ‘the ritual of after-dinner speeches, science is thanked for 
increasing the happiness and well-being of mankind as if it were 
a benevolent deity. It is, however, a matter for alarm when this, 
veneration of science runs, as it does, throughout the whole of 
modern scholarship. Thus in his book, Medieval Panorama,** G. C. 
Coulton writes the ‘astonishing sentence, “To divorce political 

‘economy from ethics is as unscientific as the divorce between any 
other two sciences.” In quoting this sentence I am not so much 
seeking to draw attention to the carelessness with which such a 
distinguished scholar can refer to ethics as a science (as a Cam- 
bridge than he has plenty of precedent, for is not Moral Science 
taught as a subject in that university?); nor am I concerned with 
the question of whether the strange phrase, “‘as unscientific as the 
divorce between any other two sciences,” has any meaning, but 
rather with what will happen to learning if the contemporary 
uncritical and meaningless worship of “science,” as exhibited in 
this quotation, continues. 

In the whole domain of knowledge the predominant mode of 
thinking has been so deliberately modelled on the natural sciences 
that it is not an exaggeration to say that the scientist in the modern 
world receives a veneration which for human credulity can only 
be compared with the superstitious regard which the medieval 
peasant paid to his priest. We perceive to-day with ease the 
religious superstitions of the medieval world but it is less easy to 
recognize that we can be provincial in time as well as in space, and 
a later generation will view our superstitious regard for science 
with the same superior tolerance which we in our day condescend 
to offer to our intellectual ancestors. : 

However, in the meantime we learnedly speculate and experi- 
ment as we try to solve the modern equivalent to the medieval 
problem:of the number of angels who can dance on the point of a 

83 P. 332 (Cambridge, 1998). 


needle. The modern archangel is measurement ahd gaily do we 
invoke his aid to measure the immeasurable. Thus Hornell Hart, 
who occupies the chair of sociology in Duke University, set out to 
measure happiness. Apparently he believes that since statistics of 
the death-rate of babies have been employed successfully in ex- 
ploring the factors which govern the infant death-rate and since 
the application of the accurate measurement of space and time 
occupies a prominent place in modern transportation, it is advis- 
able to apply “these methods of precise measurement” to “the 
crucial question of happiness.” He describes in his book’+ an 
instrument which he calls the “Euphorometer” for measuring 
happiness in “Euphor-units.” With the help of an elaborate array 
of charts, diagrams, questionnaires and an emotional scale in 
which happiness appears at 100 per cent., ecstasy as +500 per cent. 
and despair as —500 per cent. he makes some epoch-making dis- 
coveries. Thus newly married couples appear at 200 Euphor- 
units whereas couples unhappy to the point of considering divorce 
fall ‘to. zero and below. Applying the instrument to individuals, 
Hart finds that a young man in love is above the average but the 
magnitude of the number of his Euphor-units depends on whether 
he receives a letter from his fiancée, whereas another young man 
whose mother is dying appears well below the average. Well, 
indeed, may Isaac Newton turn in his grave! 

Perhaps the world will only realize the idolatrous nature of its 
worship now ‘that, like the Juggernaut of old, its god science, 
incarnate in the instruments of modern war, destroys its cities and 
lays bare its countryside on a scale which makes the wars of pre- 
scientific ages look like Sunday-school parties. ae 

In the meantime we have to reckon with the fact that the dis- 
tinguishing feature of the contemporary university is that, com- 
pared with its equivalent in other cultures—the Greek academies, 
the Chinese schools for the future literati, and the medieval 
universities of Christendom and Islam—it models its thinking on 
science. John Dewey tells us** that “for the educated man to-day, 
the final arbiter of all questions of fact, existence and intellectual 
assent . . . is scientific method,” for, “there is but one sure road of 
access to. truth—-the road of patient, co-operative inquiry opera- 
ting by means of observation, experiment, record and controlled 
reflection.” Each subject in the university curriculum takes the 


natural sciences as its model, and so we hear of “history as a 
science,” and “scientific” literary criticism. A research organiza- 
tion of Harvard University even issues a learned tome under the 
courageous title,** How to Work with People: Scientific Method of 
Securing Co-operation. Teachers of economics and politics suffer from 
an infatuation which knows no bounds. Thus Lionel Robbins, in 
his preface to the English translation of Knut Wicksell’s Lectures 
on Political Economy,*? confidently asserts: 

I know no single work better suited to the needs of any natural scientist 

who wishes to get a general view of what theoretical economics is about, and 
to what extent it is scientifically respectable. 

The snake-like fascination which the natural sciences have for 
economists is by no means limited to members of the “pure” 
theory school like Robbins. His methodological arch-enemy, 
Wesley Mitchell, tells,us that he developed his quantitative des- 
scriptive method in economics because of his early conviction that 
“there seemed to be one way of making real progress, slow, very 
slow, but tolerably sure. That was the way of natural science.’’* 
It is not too harsh to say that Mitchell was unconsciously speaking 
for other economists when he significantly added, “I really 
knew nothing of science and had enormous respect for its 

In other branches of social theory there is the same veneration 
for science. Thus in politics, a thinker, with the wide diplomatic 
experience of Viscount Bryce, plaintively warns his readers that 
although they must “cherish no vain hopes of introducing the 
certitude or the authority of science into politics,” nevertheless, 
political science ‘‘is an experimental science, for though it cannot 
try experiments it can study them and note the results. It is a pro- 
gressive science, for every year’s experience adds not only to our 
materials but to our comprehension of the laws that govern 
human society.’’¢* : 

Similarly, F. H. Giddings set the fashion for sociology when he 
cried in 1909: 

6 By Sumner Harwood (Cambridge, Mass., 1940). 
87 P, xix (New York, 1934). 

68 In his letter to J. M. Clark and reproduced (p. 678) in the appendix to Clark’s 
article Wesley C. Mitchell’s Contribution to the Theory of Business Cycles in Methods in Social 
Science, edited by S. A. Rice (Chicago, 1931). 

0 In the article The Relations of Political Science to History and to Practice in American 

Daletern! Geience Reon tf tn Val ITT (Raltimare. roo). 


We need men not afraid to work; who will get busy the adding machine and 
the logarithms and give us “exact studies,” such as we get from the psycholo- 
gical laboratories. Sociology can be made an exact, quantitative science if we 
can get industrious men interested in it.?° 

A social scientist as little prone to over-emphasize the resemblance 
between the social sciences and the natural sciences as Pitirim 
Sorokin is so much under the influence of the prevalent fashion 
that he draws his metaphors from the natural sciences with 
little regard for logical consistence. Thus he concludes the des- 
cription of his course on “Social Dynamics” at Harvard, with the 
sentence, “As a whole the course attempts to be a physiology of 
human society.” (Italics mine. A. S. N.) 

In education itself we get the same passion to be scientific. Thus 
the then President of the University of Washington, Henry 
Suzzallo, in a laudatory preface to Scientific Method in Education,” 
welcomes the fact that “the usual empirical and speculative think- 
‘ing of teachers has lost its dominance, its place being taken by 
reports and discussions based upon inquiries made in a rigid 
scientific spirit and pursued by the accurate modes of modern 
science,” 72 

It is, however, in the sphere of what has come to be called sex- 
education that the most extravagant claims are made for educa- 
tion if only it will be “scientific.” It is argued that if only the 
younger generation can be brought up to view sex in the calm, 
dispassionate and objective mood of the scientist, then for the first 
time in history man will be able to rid himself of the “un-natural,” 
“unheathly” and “shameful” attitude, and solve all the problems 
caused thereby. In parenthesis one can admit that logically speak- 
ing the argument’? is quite sound; but it is useless for the simple 
reason that man in the past never has, that those in the present 
who speak thus never do, and that therefore we have no reason to 

70 7 ie 

71 By Willan. Too (Cope Mea oan), 

72 Ibid., p. ix. An English writer, R. B. Cattell, calmly informs us that “Logically, 
education is an applied branch of the pure science of psychology” (Human Affairs, 
London, 1938, p. 141). . 

78 For an excellent example of what is practically, if not formally, such a tautological 
argument see Read-Bain in the American Sociological Review, where he writes (Vol. 5, 
P. 660, 1940): “The ideal of treating sex impersonally, factually and realistically 
cannot be attained until the anatomy, physiology and hygiene of the reproductive 
system is taught and thought about-as matter of factly as ali other similar data.” 

T do not of course wish to suggest for one moment that we should ignore what man 
has learned over the last century in his attempts to study sex, marriage and the family 

a Aa ae 


believe that man in the future ever will, regard sex as objectively 
and impartially as he regards chemical affinity or spatial 

So deep is the veneration for science and scientific methods of 
thinking that philosophy and theology anxiously stake claims 
within certain aspects of human experience which they can study 
scientifically. In such an atmosphere philosophy in its classical 
sense, as the attempt to encompass in one systematic scheme “the 
whole choir of heaven and furniture of earth,” finds itself an alien 
in a foreign land. Younger teachers of philosophy, therefore, have 
lost their self-confidence and have rejected traditional metaphysics 
in favour of the barren creed of “logical positivism.” In their 
hands, philosophy has sought to justify the ways of man to the 
great god science by confessing that the metaphysical pursuit is 
the‘most profound error which the human mind can make and 
by promising never to do it again. In return for this self-abasement 
it has been allowed to find in the analysis of the meaning of words 
and the use of language a field within which, to use Kant’s phrase, 
“it can follow the sure course of a science.” 

Theology, too, beginning with Schleiermacher, hastened to toe 
the line by “showing scientifically what faith is.”’4 It claimed 
freedom from both metaphysics and history and insisted on its 
right, like any other science, to interpret its own specific subject 
matter in terms of its own unique categories. Thus Walter Horton | 
can correctly attribute to thinkers like D. C. Macintosh and H. N. 
Wieman “the tendency to regard God provisionally at least, not 
as a Being behind and apart from the world of experience, but 
rather as a Being revealed in human experience, a Dependable. 
Factor in it which can be isolated by scientific analysis just as one 
isolates chemical elements or bacteria or vitamins.7* D. Q. 
Macintosh goes so far as to believe that theological thought can 
only become more accurate in seeking to describe God’s Way 
with man when it utilizes pictorial pseudo-mathematical formula 

RRA (ve) C I Pap CI P (=Sanctification, “Growth in Grace’) 
DFR.RRA (ve) C I P-»ap C I P (=Sanctification, “Growth in 

24 The Christian Faith: A System of Dogmatics by T. Haering (London, E.T., 1915), 
Vol. I, p. 103. See the whole section for a consideration of Schleiermacher and Kant 
as representing the turning point of modern theology. 

pared ay era Se 2 be ee ee ee 


' where DFR =a divinely functioning reality; 

RRA=the right religious adjustment (on man’s part) or on 
condition of ‘the right religious adjustment, i.e, spiritual 
aspiration, concentration of attention upon ‘the religious Object, 
self-surrender to that divine being, an appropriating faith, 
willed responsiveness, and persistence in the same; 

ve for a volitional effect, i.e., an effect in moral conduct and 

’ character; . 

on condition of; 


> = conditions a tendency towards; 

ap = answer to prayer, in the sense of a desirable effect dependably 
realizable on condition of the “right” religious adjustment; 

C = comprehensive, or when made comprehensive; 

P = persistent, or when made persistent; 

I = intensive or when made sufficiently intensive.7¢ 

Thus God, as the creator and the ground of the existence of all 
objects, is treated as an object whose existence can be inferred and 
whose nature analysed by the methods of empirical science! Some 
English modernist theologians are so intoxicated by the prestige 
of the natural sciences that they go even further than the American 
empiricists and take their data as well as the method of theology 
holus-bolus from the natural sciences. Thus E. W. Barnes, the 
Bishop of Birmingham, states?’ that “the right starting point for 
theology is to examine the conception of the world as known to 
science,” while F. R. Tennant spends two massive volumes7® 
attempting to deduce the conclusion that God exists, after proving 
that the specific witness of religion and morality has nothing 
logically speaking to do with the question. 

Thus, throughout the whole realm of human knowledge, from 
literary criticism to theological speculation, there is a well-nigh 
unrestrained adoration at the shrine of ‘science’ as the model of 
virtue. Let us then consider its history, for a study of pedigree is 
one sure method of indicating the stuff of which idols are made. 

% See The Problem of Religious Knowledge (New York, 1941), Ch. XII, Pp. 202~4. 
7 Quoted with approval by W. R. Inge. (See Science Progress, Vol. 29, p. 730.) 
%8 Philosophical Theology (Cambridge, 1928). 


“A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the 
emancipation of the mind.” 

EVERAL writers of eminence, notably A. N. Whitehead and 
Max Weber, have emphasized the fact that in the history of 
culture the emergence of the scientific movement is peculiar to 
Western civilization. It is not that the capacity for profound 
thought or patient observation has been absent elsewhere. The 
astrologers of Babylon in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, like the 
Aztec priests in pre-Columbian Mexico, made a series of stellar 
observations, which were hardly inferior to those of Tycho Brahe 
in the sixteenth century, and in the light of which they were able 
to predict eclipses accurately. As early as 4241 8.c. the Egyptians 
had fixed the calendar at 365 days. Their skill in dyeing and 
smelting in the time of the Pharaohs indicates the wide range of 
their factual knowledge in chemistry and metallurgy, whilst the 
pyramids, dating from the thirtieth century 8.c., show their 
grasp of the principles of mechanics. On the other side of the world 
the Chinese had discovered the properties of gunpowder centuries 
before its inventor in Europe, Roger Bacon, was born. The 
Pythagoreans, who fled to Italy from Greece before the advancing 
Persians in the sixth century B.c., discovered the arithmetical 
relation between the length of a stretched string and the pitch of 
the musical note it gives when struck. Two centuries later another 
Greek, Euclid, writing in Egypt, produced his Elements of Geometry, 
and for two thousand years his work provided the unchallenged 
model of mathematical proof. The unique feature of modern 
science in Western Europe is that if 1543, the date of the publica- 
tion of Copernicus’ On the Revolutions of the Celestial Orbs and 
Vesalius’ Fabric of the Human Body, is regarded as the year of its 
1 The modern use of the word, science, to indicate “‘a branch of study which is con- 
cerned . . . with observed facts systematically classified and more or less colligated by 
being brought under general laws, and which includes trustworthy methods for the 
discovery of new truth within its own domain” (A New English Dictionary on Historical 

Principles, Vol. VII, p. 221, Oxford, 1914), is little more than two hundred years old. 
It was first used by Watt in 1725 in his Logic II, ii, para. 9 (ibid.). 


birth, then, within three short centuries—John Dalton died in 
1843—there came into existence a movement which gathered 
within itself all that was known of the natural world and developed 
it to an extent which is credible only because it has actually 

The question naturally occurs: What was the concomitance of 
circumstances which enabled Western Europe in the middle years 
of the sixteenth century to give birth to a movement of such pro- 
found significance in the history of man? There is no better start- 
ing point in trying to answer this question than Whitehead’s 
chapter on The Origins of Modern Science.® 

Whitehead’s main contention is that the most striking feature of 
the modern scientific outlook, as it was revealed at its birth in the 
sixteenth century, was the “union of passionate interest in the 
detailed facts with equal devotion to abstract generalization.” 
Hence he rightly sees the problem as being: “Why did there 
emerge at the close of the Middle Ages the instinctive faith that 
there is an Order of Nature which can be traced in every detailed 
occurrence?” He maintains that the origin of this conviction that 
every particular event can be correlated with its antecedents in a 
fashion which exemplifies general principles, lay in the long 
dominance of European thought by the Scholastic tradition. He 
goes on to argue that the particular element in Scholastic thought 
which produced this faith was the idea that God possessed both 
the personal energy of Jehovah and the rationality of a Greek 
philosopher. In other words, Whitehead finds the intellectual 
sources of the scientific outlook in the development, under the 
influence of Greek rationalism, of the Judaic conception of a 
living God. He adds that certain sociological considerations also 
contributed toward the rapid development of the scientific move- 
ment: established in the Western mind the ideal that 
an authority ought to be both lawful and law-enforcing and, in 
addition, exhibit a rationally adjusted system of organization; the 
art and learning of Constantinople acted both directly and 
indirectly as a spur to culture in the West and prevented it from 
being fettered by static and traditional ways of thought; and the 
interest of the Benedictine monasteries in agriculture, as an alli- 
ance between science and technology, kept “learning in contact 
with stubborn and irreducible facts.”* Such, according to White- 
head—to use his own metaphor—was the seed and the soil from 


which modern science grew. To him factors such as the invention 
of printing, the increase in wealth of the Italian cities, and the 
taking of Constantinople, were but fertilizers. 

Although Whitehead’s thesis has been often quoted uncritically 
by writers on behalf of religious propaganda, it has in the main 
been rejected by serious thinkers. Morris Ginsberg, for example, . 
suggests that Buddhistic metaphysics rather than Scholastic 
philosophy would be considered, ima facie, more sympathetic to 
the notion of law in nature. There are two replies to such a 
criticism. The first—given by Whitehead himself—is that the con-~ 
ceptions of the relations between man and the world, current in 
Asia, did not encourage the same confidence in the scrutability of 
nature as was encouraged by the theology of medieval Europe. 
Whitehead does not. argue that this confidence was logically 
justified even on the basis of that theology; his concern is simply 
to show: how it actually arose. The second reply—the basis of 
which will be seen more clearly when we come to show how 
Whitehead’s thesis should be modified—is that Buddhism, like 
Hinduism out of which it grew, encourages a contemplative atti- 
tude toward the natural world and so makes impossible that 
reliance on experiment without which science cannot exist. Basic 
to Buddha’s teaching is an insistence on the value of reason and 
truth. However, favourable though this may have been to the 
emergence of science, other factors, absent from Buddhism, were 
necessary. Moreover, other elements actively prevented the 
growth of a scientific temper. Such was Buddha’s teaching that 
personal existence is transitory and vain and that the attainment 
of spiritual growth involves self-annihilation and the rejection of 
individuality. Even more so was this true of Buddha’s rejection of 
the material world as a fit object for man’s contemplation. Thus, 
although Buddha’s ethical teaching, expressed in his moving 
words, ‘‘all tears are salt, all blood is red,” could lead to the growth 
of the art of healing as recorded for posterity in the works of 
Atreya and Suseuta, the rest of his teaching rendered impossible: 
the development of the basic sciences of physics and chemistry. 

Ginsberg’s second criticism is that 

the notion’of a necessary natural order is more likely to have arisen by way of a 
reaction to that of a personal God ruling by the fiat of His will than as an 
unconscious and natural derivative ot it. : 


This criticism ignores the fact that although, according to the 
Scholastics, God was Personal, yet His ways were as rational as any 
Greek philosopher would have: wished them to be, and hence 
could be discovered by man and reduced to intelligble formula- 
tion. Thus Copernicus could proclaim that his task as a scientist 
was to think God’s thoughts after Him. 

Another critic, Abraham Wolf,* also maintains that Whitehead 
was fundamentally mistaken in seeing any connection between the 
scholastic Weltanschauung and the growth of the scientific, temper, 
Against Whitchead’s contention that science was organically 
related to the rationalistic outlook of medieval thought, Wolf 
argues that the reasoning of the Scholastic thinkers was always 
kept within the bounds of premises based on authority. They never 
attempted to exercise, nor permitted others to exercise, reason in 
such a fashion that it aimed at embracing the whole of human 
experience unrestricted by the boundaries imposed by traditional 
dogmas. Modern science, on the other hand, argues Wolf, was 
based on a return to the implicit reliance on natural knowledge 
which characterized the ancient world. The appeal to experiment 
was largely prompted by the naturalistic attitude as exemplified 
in and encouraged by the recovered literature of pagan antiquity 
in contrast with the supernaturalistic attitude of the Schoolmen. 
That is why, continues Wolf, science is universal, whereas the 
Churches are not, since science imposes no arbitrary restrictions 
on the scope of reasoning, whereas the Churches usually confined 
it within the arbitrary boundaries of their several creeds and 
dogmas. Wolf describes the contrast, just indicated, in another 
way, by urging that the naturalistic view expects regularity in 
Nature but the supernaturalistic view is prepared to find miracle 
and magic in natural phenomena. He then goes on to consider 
other differences between the outlook of modern science and that 
of medieval thought. These differences, he argues, arose from the 
fact that Scholastic thought is based on one set of Greek ideas, 
whereas that of the pioneers of modern science is based on another, 
To use his own words: 

The Scholastics were strongly addicted to the kind of explanation to which 
Socrates and Plato had given vogue. It consisted in the discovery of the ends or 
Purposes which things served, the indication of what they were good for... . 

6 2 History of Science, Technology and Philosophy in the 16th and 17th Centuries (London, 



teleological explanation thus tended to encourage the homocentric prejudices 
of the Middle Ages. Everything was conceived as having been intended to be 
designated to serve some human need. . . . Modern sciénce started by rejecting 
and still rejects, as far as possible, teleological explanation. It embraced the 
method of explanation advocated by Democritus and the other atomists, 
explanation by reference to the causes or conditioris which produce things, 
their efficient, and not their final, causes.” 

Thus Wolf’s position can be summed up by saying that the early 
scientists, by breaking away from the supernatural philosophy of 
the Scholastics, based on Aristotelianism, and letting facts revealed 
by experiment be the arbiter, thereby returned to the Pythagorean 
tradition in Greek thought which based itself on a naturalist 
philosophy. The Scholastics were obsessed with teleological ex- 
planations in terms of human ends and purposes. This anthro- 
pocentric attitude of mind was rejected by the early scientists of 
the sixteenth century who gave up the attempt to answer ques- 
tions of “why” in favour of questions of ‘‘how.” 

Wolf’s theory, however, fails, as also does that of Whitehead, to 
account for the emergence of that feature in the scientific outlook 
—the appeal to experiment—which distinguishes it both from 
Scholasticism and from the whole of Greek thought. To suggest, 
with Wolf, that reliance on experiment by the early scientists 
originated in a return to the mental attitude of Pythagoras or | 
Democritus, is to misunderstand entirely the difference between 
the typically Greek attitude of mind and that of the modern 
scientific movement. Wolf’s dismissal of Aristotle as an example of 
a scientist in the modern sense of the term, is equally applicable to 
Pythagoras and Democritus, both of whom were dominated by 
the speculative attitude of the typical metaphysician. 

In so far as Hellenistic thought ever approached what the 
modern mind calls scientific method it was inevitably infected by 
its exaggerated trust in deductive reasoning. In Greek scientific 
thought as a whole it was considered that the only value of induc- 
tion” was as a necessary preliminary to true science which was’ 
deductive and must therefore be cast in terms of syllogistic logic. 
But syllogistic logic is almost useless in experimental science where 
not formal proof from accepted premises but discovery of new 
facts is the aim. Moreover, Pythagoras, Democritus, Plato and - 

. 7 Loc. cit., p. 5. In this quotation Wolf can hardly mean “‘homocentric”; this word, 
according to A New English Dictionary (Oxford, 1901), Vol. V, Part I, p. 1356, is an 
adjective which means “‘Having the same centre.” The word Wolf apparently has in 
mind is “‘anthropocentric” and I have used this adjective in my summary of Wolf’s 
position. 7 


Aristotle alike deprecated any appeal to experiment on the ground 
that it was vulgar. The Greek ideal of science was essentially intel- 
lectualist. The goal of the Greek mind was the contemplation of 
reality as an intelligible order. The practical results of science, 
therefore, were of secondary importance; in fact, to the typical 
Greek thinker the application of science to mechanical ends was a 
mark of social inferiority and intellectual immaturity, since the end 
of science was not to do but to know. The structure of geometry, 
built upon allegedly self-evident propositions, was regarded as 
exhibiting the model of all true thinking. Hence even Archimedes, 
the only real experimental scientist of the Hellenic age, was so 
much intoxicated by the deductive approach that he sought to 
model his On Plane Equilibrium® on Euclid’s Elements of Geomeiry by 
trying to exhibit the basic ideas of his work as self-evident axioms, 
where as in point of fact.they were empirically derived. 

The Greek attitude toward manual work was even more devas- 
tating in preventing the growth of science, as we understand it 
to-day, since it ruled out experiment as not worthy of free men. 
For the same reason the plastic arts had a struggle before they were 
socially respectable, and for generations this sphere of artistic 
endeavour was viewed as a pursuit fit only for slaves. Thus 
Aristotle writes of the mechanical arts in his Politics: 

It is therefore evident that we shall have to teach our children such useful 
knowledge as is indispensable for them, but it is equally clear that all useful 
knowledge is not appropriate for education. There is a distinction between 
liberal and illiberal pursuits, and it is manifest that only such knowledge as 
does not make the learner mechanical (vulgar) should form a part of education. 
By mechanical pursuits we should understand all arts and studies that make the 
body, soul, or intellect of free men unserviceable for the use and exercise of 
virtue. This is the reason why we call mechanical such arts as produce an 
inferior condition of the body, and all wage-earning occupations. They allow 
the mind no leisure and degrade it to a lower level. There are even some 
liberal branches of knowledge, the acquisition of which up to a certain point is 
not unworthy of freemen, but which, if studied with undue intensiveness or 
minuteness, are open to the charge of being injurious in the manner described 
above. The object with which we engage in the arts or study them, also makes 
a great difference. If it be for our own sakes or that of our friends, or to produce 
goodness, they are not illiberal, while 2 man engaged in these very same pur- 
suits to please strangers would in many instances be regarded as following the 
occupations of a slave or a serf. - 

8 Pp. 189-220 of his Works translated by Sir Thomas L. Heath (Cambridge, 1897). 
See also Archimede: 4 treatise On Method, translated by the same writer under the title, 

ee ese Le ii Fae Serene a ge 


A man whose attitude to the spread of knowledge was moulded 
by such a view of the use of his hands would have been quite out 
of place in the discussions of the Royal Society of London. 
Bishop Thomas Sprat, the first historian of the Royal Society, 
describes how the original members (of whom “‘the farr greater 
number are gentlemen, free and unconfin’d”) sought out new 

They diligently search out, and join to them, all extraordinary men, though 
but of ordinary Trades. And that they are likely to continue this comprehen- 
sive temper hereafter, I will shew by one Instance: and it is the recommenda- 
tion which the King himself was pleased to make, of the judicious Author of the 
Observations on the Bills of Mortality: In whose Election, it was so farr from being 
a prejudice, that he was a Shop-keeper of London; that His’ Majesty gave this 
particular charge to His Society, that if they found any more such Tradesmen, 
they should be sure to admit them all, without any more ‘ado. From hence it 
may be concluded, what is their inclination towards the manual Arts; by the 
carefull regard which their Founder, and Patron, has engag’d them to have, for 
all sorts of Mechanick Artists. 

It was not that such artisans were recruited to perform the manual 
work involved in the experiments. On the contrary, each member 
manipulated his own apparatus. In the minutes of its meeting on 
September 10, 1662, it is recorded that: 

It was order’d, at the next meeting Experiments should be made with wires 
of severall matters of ye same size, silver, copper, iron, etc., to see what weight 
will break them; the curatour is Mr. Greene. 

Dr. Goddard made an experiment concerning the force that presseth the 
aire into lesse dimensions; and it was found, that twelve ounces did contract 
1/24 part of Aire. The quantity of Aire is wanting. 

My Lord Broucker was desired to send his Glasse to Dr. Goddard, to make 
further experiments about the force of pressing the aire into less dimensions. 

Dr. Wren was put in mind to prosecute Mr. Rook’s observations concerning 
the motions of the Satellites of Jupiter. 

Dr. Charleton read an Essay of his, concerning the velocity of sounds, direct 
and reflexe, and was desired to prosecute this matter; and to bring his dis- 
course again next day to bee enter’d. 7 
__ Mr. Evelyn’s Experiment was brought in of an animal engrafting, and in 
particular of making cock spurs grow on a cock’s head. co 

Dr. Goddard made the Experiment to show how much aire a man’s Ayos 
may hold, by sucking up water into a separate glasse after the lungs havehwtr 
well emptied of Aire. Severall persons of the Society trying it, some suck gjits 
in one suction about three pintes of water, one six, another eight pinty cup 
three quarters, etc. Here was observed the variety of whistles or tones, ‘eh 
ye water made at the several hights, in falling out of the glasse again. ‘han? Pp 


It might be argued that the advances which the Greeks made 
in astronomy show that they were not entirely ignorant of the 
need for experiment. But this is not an argument against the above 
estimate of the Greek attitude toward science. Actually it is one 
in its favour, since passive observation is not the same thing as 
active experiment. Logically it is impossible to distinguish between 
experiment and observation, but the psychological difference 
between the two attitudes is substantial and it is with this that we 
are here concerned. The difference between the divergent mental 
attitudes of observation and experiment is plainly related to the 
practical differences between the two methods. The former in- 
volves no manual control of the objects under examination, 
whereas the latter does. Hence astronomy can be cited as an 
example of an observational science and chemistry as an experi- 
mental science. For this reason the Greeks developed astronomy 
but ignored chemistry, a science which, as every schoolboy knows, 
involves the possibility of dirty hands as the price of knowledge. 

The strength of Wolf’s criticism of Whitehead is that he sees 
clearly that modern science was the product of a revolt against 
the medieval outlook. This is not to suggest that Whitehead was 
unaware of this fact. Indeed, he specifically refers to it as “a 
sensible reaction to the rationalistic orgy of the Middle Ages.” 
What he fails to do is to examine the question why the revolt took 
place and what was its nature. Wolf’s answer is that ; 
the medieval lack of interest in natural phenomena and disregard of individual 
judgment had their roots in the domifation of a supernatural outlook, an 

other-worldly mentality. The earth was of little interest in comparison with 
heaven, the present life was at best a preparation for the life hereafter.10 

But to find; as does Wolf, the sources of the revolution whereby 
the present life occupied the centre of man’s picture, simply in a 
return to the naturalism of the materialist tradition of Democritus, 
is inadequate, for the reason that none of the early scientists; 
Kepler or Galileo, for example, were naturalistic in outlook. Wolf 
really had the true answer at hand when he mentions?" the fact 
that the scientific movement flourished (although it did not 
originate) in Reformation countries like England and Holland. 
Thomas Sprat maintained that although “the seeds of it were 
sown in King Edward VI’s and Queen Elizabeth’s time” yet the 
society itself was the product of the liberty of thought encouraged 
by the Reformation. 

10 Loe, cit., p. 5." 11 Ihid., p. 9. 


Two centuries before Galileo’s epoch-making experiments, 
Roger Bacon had pointed out that the fundamental obstacle to 
the growth of man’s knowledge of the natural world was an intel- 
lectual dependence on authority, which carried with it the refusal 
to experiment. He found from his own experience that it was use- 
less for isolated individuals to set their faces against the authority 
of the Scholastic world view. A movement which could enlist 
widespread support for a revolt against traditional authority 
was essential. As J. G. Crowther has remarked in another 

while men of genius could always find a track, the conversion of the track 
into a smooth highway of progress could be accomplished only by the tramping 
of a large body of followers.12 

It was Protestantism which, being a religious movement in a 
religious age, could challenge Scholasticism successfully, both in 
the ecclesiastical and in the intellectual spheres. There is an inter- 
* esting recognition by Milton in his pamphlet, Areopagitica, of the 
difference between a typically Reformation country like England 
and a country like Italy where the Reforming movement failed. 
Inspired by a visit to Galileo about 1638, Milton wrote:15 

I could recount what I have seen and heard in other countries, where this 
kind of inquisition tyrannizes; when I have sat among their learned men, (for 
that honour I had,) and been counted happy to be born in such a place of 
philosophic freedom, as they supposed England was, while themselves did 
nothing but bemoan the servile condition into which learning amongst them 
was brought; that this was it which had damped the glory of Italian wits; that 
nothing had been there written now these many years but flattery and fustian. 
There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo, grown old, a prisoner 
to the Inquisition, for thinking in Astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan 
and Dominican licencers thought. 

In countries influenced by the Protestant Reformation there was 
produced a mass movement of men prepared to question tradi- 
tional authority and willing to accept revolutionary ideas as the 
intellectual basis for investigating the world of nature, and that is 
why scientists of the Reformation countries were able to accom- 
plish what neither Roger Bacon nor Leonardo da Vinci had been 
able to do. Thereby Protestantism made its first contribution to 
the emergence of modern experimental science, for it is indeed a 
short step from Luther’s contention, that no man can give to 

12 The Social Relations of Science (London, 1941). 

18 Toc. cit, (London, 1644, and replica, London, 1927), p. 24. 


another man the assurance of salvation, to the motto of the Royal 
Society: ‘Nullius in verba.?1* 

Moreover, the intellectual basis for experimental investigation 
was unconsciously provided by the Protestant movement. This 
factor constitutes the second contribution which the Reformation 
made toward the possibility of experimental science. The essential 
character of medieval theology against which Protestantism 
revolted was pride in man’s achievement. Experiment to the 
Schoolmen was unnecessary: man knew the truth, for example, 
about falling bodies; his only concern was to work out the implica- 
tions of what he already knew. The stars, being heavenly bodies, 
were known to be perfect. Hence, so they argued, to look at them 
was a waste of time. Any direct frontal attack on this intellectual 
self-satisfaction was bound to fail. It represented the stronghold 
of the whole medieval world. Man was believed to be the centre 
of the universe and the world of physical nature, like all else, was 
teleologically subordinate to man, to his finite purposes and to his 
eternal destiny, and therefore, man’s existence, with his hopes and 
fears, was the dominant fact above all others. Thus the physical 
world was conceived to exist for man’s sake. Contrary to what is 
usually believed, this is the clearest illustration we have that the 
medieval world lived under little sense of God’s dominion and that 
consequently it had little sense of a Truth transcending its own 

' truth or of a Righteousness transcending its own righteousness. 
Such an outlook could be challenged only at its centre, as Luther 
saw quite clearly when he posited the issue of faith versus works. 
As John Macmurray once pointed out!*—Luther’s conversion 
“put an end to man’s preoccupation with himself and as a result 
he found himself no longer interested in himself, no longer the 
centre of his own world.” That change in Luther’s life is itself a 
symbol of the change from the medieval world to the modern 
world. It was a change from man’s interest in man to man’s 
interest in the world. By doing this in the sphere of man’s inner: 
life Luther laid the spiritual foundations for Galileo and his 
successors to perform its equivalent in the sphere of man’s physical 
life when they relegated the earth from its exalted position as the 
centre of all physical existence to that of a second-class planet 
going round a third-rate sun in an odd corner of the stellar 

1¢ “Not bound by the words of any man.” 
16 In a conversation with the writer. See also his introduction to Some Makers Of the 
Modern Spirit, ed. by J. Macmurray (London, 1933). 


The resulting revolution in method is brilliantly expressed by a 
typical Reformation thinker, Francis Bacon, in the words: 

The error of the Schoolmen proceeded from a too great reverence, and a 
kind of adoration of the mind and understanding of man; by means whereof, 
men have withdtawn themselves too much ftom the contemplation of nature, 
and the observations of experience, and have tumbled up and down in their 
own reason and conceit. . . . For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon 
matter, which is the contemplation of the creatures of God, worketh always 
to the stuff and is limited thereby; but if it work upon itself, as the spider 
worketh his web, then it is endless, and brings forth indeed cobwebs of learning, 
admirable for fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit.1¢ 

This rejection of deductive argument from alleged self-evident 

premises was foundational to the work of the early scientific 
societies of the countries on the Atlantic seaboard. The Royal 
Society appointed a salaried experimentalist, Robert Hooke, 
whose attitude can be aptly summed up in his own words: 
The truth is, the Science of Nature has been already too long made only a 
work of the “Brain” and the “Fancy”: It is now high time that it should 
return to the plainness and soundness of observations on material and obvious 
things.17 ; 

The appeal to experiment, therefore, is really based upon the 
acceptance of man’s ignorance and a consequent willingness to 
refer questions to objective fact. The behaviour appropriate to 
such an attitude of mind is action in the shape of experiment. It is 
this acceptance of the primacy of action over speculation which 
shows that the scientific revolt was based upon a “Judaic” rather 
than a “Greek” attitude toward the relation between knowing 
and doing. For to the Jew, knowledge always had relevance to 
practice. As Robertson Smith points out, ; 

When the prophets speak of knowledge of God they always mean a practical - 
knowledge of the laws and principles of His government.1® 

Whereas to the Greek the highest values in knowing were revealed 
in contemplation.2° 
It was Protestantism, therefore, which, by returning to a Judaic 

18 Quoted by J. H. Robinson in his contribution to John Dewey: The Man and His 
Philosophy (Cambridge, Mass., 1930), p. 158. 

17 In the preface to Micrographia, 1665. 

18 Religion of the Semites (London, 1927), P. 23- 

19 This attitude towards knowledge is still defended by those thinkers for whom 
Greece rather than Palestine is their intellectual home, e.g., the eminent French 
medievalist, Etienne Gilson, writes of the necessity of maintaining “‘science in its 
proper ord hich is that of contemplation, and prevent it from sinking into that of 

Se ft 99D nn SM bededinetin nnd Dicinenthe (New Vark and Tandan. 1090). 


rather than Greek attitude, provided, psychologically if not 
logically, the scientific movement with its methodology. Even 
J. M. Robertson, a historian who -would not be expected to over- 
emphasize the part played by religious influences in the growth of 
the scientific movement, admits** that Protestantism “set up out- 
side its own sphere some new movements of rational doubt which 
must have counted for much in the succeeding period.” Hence, 
he continues, 

we find . . . in the more systematic and more cautious argumentation of the 
abler Protestants of the seventeenth century a measure of general rationalism 

more favourable alike to natural science and to Biblical and ethical criticism 
than had been the older environment of authority and tradition. 

The third contribution which Protestantism unconsciously made 
to the progress of the scientific movement was through the high 
significance it gave to manual labour. A recent historian of ancient 
science, Benjamin Farrington, emphasizes a previous point urged 
in this chapter, namely that?! in Greece the aversion to physical 
toil must have operated to the detriment of science, since the ex- 
perimental scientist cannot dispense with the use of his hands. 
Farrington illustrates his argument by pointing out that anatomy 
stood still from Galen to Vesalius. Vesalius himself explained this 
intellectual stagnation as due to cessation of dissection by the 
intellectuals who as free men had a contempt for manual work. 
To quote his own words: ‘ 

It was when the more fashionable doctors in Italy, in imitation of the old 
Romans, despising the work of the hand, began to delegate to slaves the 
manual attentions they deemed necessary for their patients . . . that the art 
‘of medicine went to ruin. .. . When the whole conduct of manual operations 
‘was entrusted to barbers, not only did physicians lose the true knowledge of the 
viscera, but the practice of dissection soon died out, doubtless for the reason 
that the doctors did not attempt to operate, while those to whom the manual 
skill was resigned were too ignorant to read the writings of the teachers of 

By its doctrine of “the calling” Protestantism encouraged an 
attitude of mind whereby physical labour or work could be con- 
strued as a vocation on earth which met with God’s approval. 
This conviction had two results. It furnished that optimism about 
life on earth without which new experiments cannot be tried with 
hope and confidence in their outcome. More important still, it was 

30 A History of Free Thought (London, and edition), pp. 509 ff. 
91 Science in Antiquity (London, 1936), p. 228. 22 Ibid., p. 229. 


this element within Protestantism which led it to set its face 
against the Greek view, which had been carried over into medieval 
thought, that physical labour was too vulgar an occupation for the 

Speaking of the noble art of warfare, Plato®* had haughtily dis- 
missed the argument that “in pitching a camp, or diide up a 
position or closing or extending the lines of an army, or any other 
military manceuvre, whether in actual battle or on a march, it will 
make all the difference whether a general is or is not a geome- 
trician,” with the words that “‘for that purpose a very little of 
either geometry or calculation will be enough.” * Contrast this 
attitude with that of Galileo, who expressed on the first page of his 
shattering Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences his indebtedness 
to the skilled artisans of the arsenal at Venice, with the words: 

Conference with them has often helped me in the investigation of certain 
effects including not-only those which are striking but also those which are 
recondite and almost incredible.25 

It might be argued that the building of medieval cathedrals like 
Chartres in France or Durham in England shows that there was a 
definite place in the medieval outlook for the consecration of 
manual toil. The Abbot Haimon of S. Pierre-sur-Dive in a letter 
to his brethren of Tutbury, in Staffordshire, a small priory 
dependent on S. Pierre, graphically describes how in the building 
of Chartres Cathedral all the inhabitants, rich and poor, high and 
low, formed themselves into “‘associations’’ to drag, in silence and 
humility, the huge blocks of stone from the quarries and the timber 
from the forest. No one was allowed to toil in this work until he 
had been to confession and sought reconciliation with his enemies. 
To quote from his own words: 

Who has ever seen or who heard in all the ages of the past that kings, princes 
and lords, mighty in their generation, swollen with riches and honours, that 
men and women, I say, of noble birth have bowed their haughty necks to the 
yoke and harnessed themselves to carts like beasts of burden, and drawn them, 
laden with wine, corn, oil, stone, wood and other things needful for the main- 
tenance of life or the construction of the church, even to the doors of the 

23 Republic, Book VII, 525. See Dialogues of Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett 
(Oxford, 1892), Vol. III, p. 228. 

2 Contrary to what is often believed, Plato never referred to God as a geometrician; 
the expression, 6 eds de yeouetpel is not Platonic. I am indebted to Dean G. S. Brett 
for pointing out that “‘the topic is discussed in Plutarch—Convivial Disputations—where 
it is stated, with some suggestion that it is good Platonism but not actually Platonic: 
it does not appear in the works of Plato so far as can be discovered.” 

2 x 1 of English translation by Henry Crew and Alfonso de Salvio (New York, 


asylum of Christ? But what is even more astonishing is that, although some- 
times a thousand or more of men and women are attached to one cart—so vast 
is the mass, so heavy the machine, so weighty the load—yet so deep a silence 
reigns that not a voice, not a whisper can be heard. And when there is a halt 
called on the way there is no sound save that of the confession of sins and the 
suppliant prayer to God for pardon. There, whilst the priests are preaching 
peace, all hatred is lulled to sleep and quarrels are banished, debts forgiven, 
and the union of hearts re-established. But if anyone is so hardened that he 
cannot bring himself to forgive his enemies or to beg the pious admonitions of 
the priests, then his offering is withdrawn from the common stock as unclean, 
and he himself is separated, with much shame and ignominy, from the society 
of the holy people. Forward they press, unchecked by rivers, unhindered by 
mountains. You might think that they were children of Israel crossing Jordan, 
and for them, as for the children of Israel, miracles are wrought. But when they 
come to the church, they set their waggons in a circle so as to form, as it were, 
a spiritual camp, and all the following night the watch is kept by the whole 
army with hymns and songs of praise.2¢ 

However, this activity does not indicate the consecration of 
common work but rather the performing of a particular religious 
exercise. Robert Lowry Calhoun designates with great clearness 
the change which Protestantism wrought: 

Against the regnant monastic ideal of the Medieval Church, which held up 

the lives of celibate clergy and religious orders as more pleasing to God than 
the lives of ordinary folk engaged in doing the ordinary work of the world, 
Luther and Calvin followed and overpassed the lead of certain mystics and 
medieval preachers in applying to these common pursuits the impressive term, 
vocation, that meant “divine calling.”’27 
Calhoun admits that Thomas of Aquinas stressed the value of the 
individual’s labour as contributive to an organic whole and that 
thereby he effected a significant advance in the understanding of 
the value of work. But, argues Calhoun, although Thomistic 
social theory gives clear “recognition of positive worth in the pro- 
videntially ordered array of occupations which serve not merely 
the higher orders but the common weal,” yet . 
Saint Thomas never applied to the doing of opus manuale (secular labour in its 
widest sense) the distinctive terms vocare, vocatio; nor did he ever grant to 
those engaged in such work a level (gradus) of life comparable to that of the 
orders set apart to engage in opera spiritualia.2® 

The transition in thought whereby ordinary human labour 
came to be regarded as a divine vocation is aptly illustrated by a 
curious philological fact, first pointed out by Max Weber.2# 

6 Quoted by Cecil Headlam in The Story of Chartres (London, 1g02), p. 116, 

2 God and the Common Life (New York, ery. 7 TO 
op Cod and the Common Life (New York, 1935), p. 17. - 28 Toe. cit., p. 254, 


Luther gave to the word Beruf (“calling”) a connotation which 
before his time it had not possessed. Indeed, there is no exact 
equivalent to it either in the literature of classical antiquity or of 
medieval learning.*° Luther used the word in this sense in his 
translation of Ecclus. xi. 21. In the English version we normally 
have “Trust in the Lord and abide in thy toil,” “toil” being the 
accurate translation of the Greek tévos. However, Luther used 
“Beruf,” and by it he meant not “toil” or “work,” as such, but 
labour in the secular world, viewed as a God-appointed task. On 
one occasion he said, “God through you milks the cow and does 
the most servile works.” Thus to Luther the proper performance 
of a man’s secular work is a religious obligation. 

The Protestant doctrine of justification by faith, as it originated 
in Luther, meant that man was‘to be reconciled to God in this 
world and not merely in heaven. Thus religion was secularized so 
that, as Luther put it, the shoemaker should shoe the sole of the 
Pope as religiously as the Pope should pray for the soul of the 
shoemaker. This attitude of mind is well expressed by Kepler in a 
prayer which he used in concluding one of his astronomical 

Behold I have here completed a work of my calling with as much of 
intellectual strength as Thou hast granted me. I have declared the praise of 
Thy works to the men who will read the evidence of it, so far as my finite 
spirit can comprehend them in their infinity. 

It was an attitude of mind which became so much a part of the 
warp and woof of Protestantethinking that before the end of the 
eighteenth century, Benjamin Franklin could remark in his 
famous letter To Those Who Would Remove to America, “The people 
have a saying, that God Almighty is himself a Mechanic,” 5* 

Herein we see why it was Protestantism and not the Renaissance 
which made the scientific movement possible. The Renaissance 
was essentially a literary movement and a return to the study of 
the old manuscripts could no more have produced the sociological 

30 See article by Kemper Fullerton, Calvinism and Capitalism, in the Harvard Theo- 
logical Review, Vol. XXI, p. 169. 

81 Quoted by Charles Singer in his article in Science, Religion and Reality, p. 141, ed. 
by Joseph Needham (London, 1925). Although Kepler was: not technically a ‘“Pro- 

testant” he was very much under the influence of its thought and entertained many 
ideas which from the Roman Catholic standpoint were heretical. 

82 Quoted by G. S. Counts in his The Prospects of American Democracy (New York, 
1022. p. 22). from The Works of Benjamin poles tag ee Srauks (Bostes, 1836), 


and psychological conditions for the emergence of experimental 
science in sixteenth-century Europe than the literary revivals for 
the study of the classics in China could have made the Orient, 
. Yather than Western Europe, the birthplace of modern science. A 
most interesting confirmation of this view of the relation between 
the Renaissance and the Reformation in their impact on the 
growth of science is to be found by comparing the state of experi- 
mental science in the two ancient universities of England. Oxford 
is the university which is the more closely identified with the 
literary study of the classics and Cambridge the university which 
is more closely associated with the Reformation: it was Oxford 
which produced Newman but Cambridge produced Simeon. 
Cambridge has always had a brilliant scientific reputation from 
the days of Isaac Newton. To mention the Cavendish laboratory 
and the names of Clerk Maxwell, Lord Kelvin, J. J. Thomson, 
Ernest Rutherford and the Braggs is to quote a galaxy of scientific 
talent that no ‘other single university in the world can equal, 
whereas Oxford, to mention only one science, organic chemistry, 
has had to import from other universities W. H. Perkins of the last 
generation and Robert Robinson in this generation, although it 
has never had any difficulty in filling with the most eminent 
scholars from its own ranks its chairs in, say, classics and history. 
It might be argued, in answer to the importance here attributed 
to Protestantism, that the Reformers were not more friendly to- . 
ward the scientific attitude of mind than the Church against © 
which they rebelled. It could be mentioned that the first martyr | 
of science, Servetus, was burned at the stake by Calvin, and that 
the early scientific movement was strongest in Roman Catholic 
countries. But this reply rests upon a misunderstanding very much 
akin to the criticism that the Reformers were not more friendly to | 
the spirit of capitalism than the Roman Church, a criticism which 
is often levelled against Max Weber’s well-known thesis on the 
relation between Protestantism and capitalism. The connection 
between Protestantism and the rise of science, on the one hand,24 

33 T am not aware of any investigation by Max Weber on this question; the only 
explicit reference to it in Weber’s translated work is in his General Economic History 
(London, 1927), p. 368, where he points out that in his judgment the specific contribu~ 
tion of Protestantism to the Progress of science was to have placed it at the service of 
technology and economics, whilst in his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 
(London, 1930), he gives several hints that during the Puritan era scientific progress 
was aided by the religious temper of the age. For further references to Weber on this 
question see the illuminating article by Robert K. Merton Protestantism, Pietism and 
Science in the Sociological Review, Vol. 28, pp. 1 Ff. (London, 1026). 


and Protestantism and the emergence of capitalism, on the other 
hand, is not be conceived of as being a conscious process. It was 
simply that in both cases Protestantism removed the dams of 
medieval restriction, and both Calvin and Luther and their sup- 
porters were quite incapable of checking the course of the subse- 
quent torrent which made possible the era of liberal individualism, 
that “Geist” which in religion produced the innumerable Pro- 
testant sects, in thought the scientific movement, in politics 
democracy and in economics capitalism. 

The connection between the rise of capitalism and that of the 
scientific movement is for our immediate purpose the most 
important. In contrast to the traditional technique of pre- 
capitalist and pre-scientific societies, both capitalism and science 
rest on the rational prediction of the future, whether of the course 
of business or the sequence of change in a chemical, physical or 
biological system, in deciding between alternative courses of 
action. In a “‘traditionalist’”’ society, like that of medieval Europe 
or pre-revolutionary Russia, the sowing and reaping of crops, the 
spinning and weaving of textiles and the mining and smelting of 
ores were conducted in accordance with the long-acquired tradi- 
tions, customs, and codes of race or caste or family or neighbour- 
hood, and not by a rational process of choosing the most appro- , 
priate means to achieve the desired end. In contrast, early science 
as a means for discovering new knowledge and early capitalism 
as an economic system both broke with tradition in their estimate 
of what rules should govern the use of mechanical equipment as a 
field for rational technique. For example, neither the early 
capitalists nor the early scientists discovered the mechanical prin- 
ciples which are exhibited in a clock, that indispensable feature 
of the scientific laboratory, the business office or the factory. The 
revolutionary idea basic both to science and capitalism was that 
if a machine was more efficient then it should be used. In E. F. M. 
Durbin’s words, 

a medieval society looks upon machines as toys. A capitalist society looks upon 
them as instruments of production. What has changed is not knowledge, but a 
habit of thought.3+ : 

The break with traditionalism is further exhibited in that both ° 
science and capitalism are based on an unlimited acquisitiveness. 
As we have seen, the medieval scholar, believing that only that 

% The Politics of Democratic Socialism (London, 1940), P- 79- 


which is already known can be learned, rested self-satisfied in the 
knowledge he possessed, whereas the scientist of the modern era 
has an unquenchable thirst for “facts and more facts.” Similarly 
in the field of business enterprise, the achievement of financial 
gain ceased being, as it was for the medieval mind, a peril to the 
soul, even if a somewhat natural frailty, and became instead a 
divine ordinance and the very foundation of society. John Wesley 
expressed this mood in a sermon when he exhorted his hearers to 
“get all you can, save all you can and give all you can.” In poetry 
the mood of the restless acquiring temper was expressed for 
Victorian England in Rossetti’s lines: 
From this wave-washed mound 

Unto the furthest flood-brim look with me; 

Then reach on with thy thought till it be drowned. 

Miles and miles distant, though the grey line be, 

And though thy soul sail leagues and leagues beyond, 

Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there is more sea. 

Moreover, in both scientific research and capitalistic enterprise 
this unrestrained acquisition is in accordance with a rational plan 
whereby immediate resources are to be expended in accordance 
with a purpose. In capitalism it appears as saving for the purposes 
of capital accumulation, while in science it appears as experiment 
in the utilization of present materials not for immediate satisfac- ° 
but for the light thrown _on, the properties of all materials which 
are of that type and which will appear in future experience. 
Furthermore, this plan, in either case, is based upon an optimistic 
trust in a policy of laissez-faire.The capitalist has assumed that the 
harmony of the whole will be the outcome of the struggle between 
competing firms. Similarly the scientist unquestionably believes 
that the knowledge gained in one science will ultimately be con- 
sistent with that obtained in another science. For him the word 
“knowledge” really has no plural. 

But the mostimportant resemblance between science and capital- 
ism liesin the fact that they both represent a break-away from ethical 
considerations, As Tawney points out,** the fundamental differ- 
ence between medieval and modern economic thought consists in 
the fact that, whereas the latter normally refers to economic ex- — 
pediency, however it may be interpreted, for the justification of 
any particular action, policy, or system of organization, the former 
starts from the position that there is a moral authority to which con- 

35 Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (London, 1929), p. 39. 


siderations of economic expediency must be subordinated. Simi- 
larly, E. A. Burtt points out that the idea of law as “a rationally dis- 
coverable principle of unity behind processes of change” could not 
have been “foundational to the thinking of large masses of men had 

- itnot proved possible, in the great medieval era of Anselm toAquinas 
. .. to combine what was essential in it with the Hebrew concept 
of divine law.”#¢ He goes on to say that “crippling complications 
still infected the picture and had to be purged before the whole 
faith of science clearly emerged.”’ The purging needed, adds Burtt, 
lay in the fact that “the Christian conception of God was that of 
a being morally perfect as well as rational” and that “as long as 
the interpretation of the world was attempted in theological terms 
the presupposition could hardly be avoided that everything must 
happen for the sake of some good.” Hence, concludes Burtt, 
science could not develop until it had set free.its thinking from 
the assumption that everything that happened took place for the 
sake of some good. 

We now see that the Protestant movement, in expressing a 
revolutionary attitude toward human knowledge, furnished the 
foundations for the scientific world view. It was able this by 
taking its stand on the Jewish attitude toward nature as 
good. Expressed in the doctrine of the goodness of creation, this 
attitude was a direct protest against the Greek contempt for the 
temporal world which had its origin in a preference for the world 
of pure and rational being, a preference which reappeared as 

’ Christian theology developed, until in Scholasticism the Biblical 
view of creation was almost submerged. It was only when Pro- 
testantism had re-emphasized the Jewish elements in the Christian 
tradition, as over against the predominating Greek elements in the 
medieval synthesis, that the interest in nature, without which 
experimental science was impossible, was able to emerge. 

We can now see why Western Europe during the modern era 
has been the only civilization to give birth to “‘science.” In no 
other culture has there been the dual interest in particular facts as 
illustrations of general knowledge and a willingness to fill in the 
gaps in human knowledge by appealing to the results of manual 
labour in the shape of experiment. This conclusion can be thrown 
into clearer light by taking instances, by way of contrast, of 
civilizations which had no scientific movement. A modern Chinese 

36 Religion in an Age of Science (London, 1929), p. 42. 


philosopher solves?7 the question of why China, for example, in 
spite of the accomplishments of her ancient culture, had no 
science, by pointing out that in terms of her own traditional 
standards of value she needed none. There are, in fact, some 
astonishing resemblances between the traditional Chinese attitude 
and that of medieval Europe to the natural world, knowledge and 
manual labour. The scholars of the Ming era (1368-1644) had 
the same kind of rational-deductive approach to knowledge which 
was exemplified in Thomas Aquinas. Just as medieval Europe used 
reason to draw out the truth from propositions written on the 
pages of Aristotle so the Chinese scholars worked upon the writings 
of Confucius. Speaking of two Chinese rulers, as late as the 
beginning of the nineteenth century, an English scholar, E. R. 
Hughes, writes:38 

K’ang Hsi and Ch’ien Lung with their shrewd, calculating minds saw that 
the way to preserve their inheritance was through generous treatment.of the 
scholar class. Heterodox opinions were as much an object of suspicion as 
.sedition, and although some notable movements in learned study took place, 
the relation of learning to life and society and its needs was seriously affected, 
Too many of the nation’s spiritual trustees bécame the slaves of imperial policy. 
The majority of the literati fell to the temptation of sycophancy, and when they 
became officials found safety for their minds in elegant literary trifling. 

E. R. Hughes adds** that younger Chinese scholars are now saying 
of their predecessors, 

Here . . . is where we Chinese have made our great mistake during the last 
800 years. We came to the point where we saw that knowledge consisted in 
“the examination of things” (k’e wu), but we construed things to be the things 
of the mind and the social order, and we have more and more descended to 
looking for the laws of the universe in old books. 

Similarly, as in medieval Europe so in China, the use of the 
hands in manual labour was considered an inelegance impossible 
for the true scholar; learned men did not build ships or make guns, 
and so the earliest Chinese schools which borrowed from Western 
learning were simply technical schools for the training of skilled 
workmen. Even after the Republican revolution this attitude per- 
sisted to such an extent that few Chinese teachers of science could 
be persuaded to perform experiments. Still less would they allow 

9? Yulan Feng in article Why China Has No Science in International Fournal of Ethics 
for April, 1922. . . 


students to handle the apparatus. They were permitted, on 
occasion, to see experiments performed since thereby they could 
follow more easily the illustrations on the printed page of the 
precious text-book. As late as 1919 the examiner of a graduating 
class in a university of good standing found that the examinees 
could hardly distinguish sandstone from slate. On miaking 
inquiries he found that field expeditions were undertaken only 
once a year, since it was not considered proper to get dirty hands 
by picking up geological specimens on more frequent occasions. 
One ‘further. resemblance between ancient China and medieval 
Europe was that neither civilization had a middle class, and a 
middle class society is the only society known to history which 
cares for “rights” and yet can allow criticism of itself. The infer- 
ences drawn by Marxist writers notwithstanding, the fact remains 
that modern experimental science has only emerged in a middle- 
class society based juridically not on status but on contract, which 
has accepted toleration of belief to the point of accepting atheism 
and which has regarded not the landowner, nor the scholar, nor. 
the ecclesiastic, nor the warrior but the trader and the industrialist 
as the pillars of society. 

So, too, in ancient Egypt, Babylon and Rome, the absence of, 
as a Calvinist would say, “a high doctrine of manual labour” made 
the growth of experimental science impossible. J. G. Crowther*® 
quotes from an ancient document of about 1200 B.c. where an 
Egyptian scholar gives this advice to his pupils: 

“Put writing in your heart that you may protect yourself from hard labour 
of any kind and be a magistrate of high repute” for the metal worker at his 
task at the mouth of the furnace has “fingers like a crocodile,” and “stinks 

worse than fish spawn” whilst ‘the weaver in a workshop is worse off than a 
woman” since he squats “with his knees to his belly and does not taste fresh 


During its golden age, from A.D. goo to 1100, Arabic culture 
showed all the signs of giving birth to experimental science but 
the early promise was not fulfilled. It is true that many circum- 
stances—political and military in character—combined to bring 
to an abortive end the particular development of the legacy of 
Greek science to which the Islamic world fell heir. However, more 
potent influences lay in the internal deficiencies of Arabic science 
and culture. Religioug rules prohibited the dissection of the human 


body or living animals; thereby Galen’s anatomical and physio- 
logical errors went uncorrected. The deference of Muslim 
scholars toward Greek thought was not a suitable psychological 
preparation for the necessary rebellion against the Hellenistic 
attitude toward the natural world, which, as we have seen, was 
essential if science, in the sense which we know it to-day, was to 
be born. 

This exaggerated respect for the written words of the Greek 
Fathers is aptly illustrated by the following words of Al-Jahiz of 

' Did we not possess the books of the ancients in which their wonderful wisdom 
is immortalized and in which the manifold lessons of history are so dealt with 
that the past lives before our eyes, did we not have access to the riches of their 
experience which would otherwise have been barred to us, our share in 
Wisdom would be immeasurably smaller and our means of attaining a true 
Perspective most meagre.*1 ‘ 

Another Arabic writer, Al-Birumi, went even further and 
wrote: : : 

We ought to confine ourselves to what the ancients have dealt with and 
endeavour to perfect what can be perfected.42 

Thus, Arabic science failed to develop for precisely the same 
reasons that Greek scientific thought did not come to maturity, 
Indeed, Paracelsus, whose work marks the transition from alchemy 
to chemistry, early in the sixteenth century linked together the 
names of the two greatest encyclopedists in ancient Greece and 
medieval Islam, Galen and Avicenna, when he warned his 
students not to trust the written word but to return to the observa- 
tion of nature. To emphasize his break with tradition and to 
symbolize his stand as an investigator, untrammelled by venera- 
tion for the written word, he commenced his lecture courses in 
Basle by burning ceremoniously before his class the works of the 
offending authors, murmuring as he did so the words: 

“Experimenta et ratio auctorum loco mihi suffragantur]??48 

Babylon might have developed a scientific movement because 
there it was not beneath the dignity of scholars to look at the sky. 
However, they lacked any real grasp of general principle as 

41 Quoted by Alfred Guillaume in his article Philosophy and Theology in The Legacy 
of Islam, ed. by Sir Thomas Arnold and Alfred Guillaume (Oxford, 1931), p. 239. 

4B Maven de VY. 

ib Paes” Pe 


_exemplifying the relation between particular facts; there was no 
Kepler to juggle with the figures of their Tyco Brahes. Moreover, 
to look at the stars, in the judgment of Babylonian scholars, was 
one thing, to handle physical objects was another. Hence their 
mathematicians used 3 as the value of tt since they left the measure- 
of the diameter and the circumference of a circle—and indeed the 
calculation—to slaves. Alternatively they may have been so much 
under the influence of a Babylonian equivalent to the Pythagorean 
view of number that they had to believe that the ratio in ques- 
tion must be a perfect number. 

No civilization was less likely to produce science than that of 
ancient Rome and yet no imperial power, as its lines of communi- 
cation grew longer, had more need of it. It was sufficient for the 
imperious Roman that the enslaved Greek might indulge—when 
he had the time—in the luxury of abstract thought about the 
natural world but, as Virgil urged, only war and government were 
occupations proper to citizens of Rome. Even to Marcus Aurelius 
“those that profess mechanic arts” are “in some respects no better 
than mere idiots.’’ 

The analysis of the development of the scientic movement, given 
above, shows that it is based upon the following convictions. or 
postulates: ; 

(I) That there is in nature an ordered regularity such’ that 
apparently isolated facts are also instances of general laws. 

(II) That these facts are to be obtained from deliberate and 
conscious experiment, or observation;** neither experiment nor 
observation is just trial and error; experiment in particular can 
be defined as trial and error according to a plan. 

(III) That these facts are to be derived by a process of abstrac- 
tion such that for each particular science only certain aspects of 
the subject under examination are deemed relevant. 

These postulates, as the outcome of the attempt to formulate 
explicitly the presuppositions of scientific investigation, I shall 
call the doctrines of science. 

The historical development of the natural sciences indicates 
how this third postulate has been applied. Mechanics was the first 

44 In the sixth book of his Meditations, paragraph 32. Sec Everyman edition (London, 
1906), p. 65. 

45 The essential difference between observation and experiment is that the former 
precludes and the latter includes some kind of control over the subject under investiga- 


branch of science to be developed. Its basis was that any properties 
of matter other than mass and motion could be ignored and this * 
was true whether the objects under investigation were planets or 
cannon balls. The next stage came with the development of 
chemistry and physics as scientists began to turn their attention 
to the problems of combustion and expansion when it became 
necessary to investigate properties of matter other than mass and 
velocity. These properites were consequently subsumed under the 
terms physical and chemical. The distinction between these two 
types of properties of matter was first appreciated when experi- 
ment showed that all material changes could be divided into two 
well-defined classes, the criterion of classification being changes 
in the properties of a body under certain definite influences. It was 
noticed that some properties, such as temperature, shape and 
position, could be changed arbitrarily one by one, while others 
could not be changed without changing other properties as well; 
in fact, in the latter case the change was found to be so great that 
the original. material, as such, disappeared and a different 
material was formed. The former properties are now termed 
accidental properties, the study of which concerns the science of 
physics in its traditional sense, and the latter are termed specific 
properties, the study of these being the concern of chemistry. The 
two classes of changes referred to above then are physical and 
chemical changes, respectively. The theoretical distinction 
between physics and chemistry, corresponding to this empirical 
line of demarcation between the two sciences, is that chemistry 
deals with the molecule and physics deals with the atom. 

This process of bringing into consideration data of a higher 
order of complexity does not mean that previous laws are no 
longer assumed to apply: It is simply that a chemical account of a 
particular process includes the physical, just as the physical in 
turn includes a mechanical account of that process. 

“Biology developed as the science which found itself, in its 
various branches—zoology, botany, embryology and the like— 
unable, like physics or chemistry, to be indifferent to certain other 
characteristics of the material world. These characteristics were 
‘those of living bodies “which, while behaving in some ways like 
matter; being, for example, visible or tangible, nevertheless 
reveal differences which are the more striking the more rigidly 
physics and chemistry delineate the material world as essentially 

PSOE (A. Oe ee OL | ee Tk, Se Pern’. area (os es eee See cee”. 2 mes iq 


changes.’’4* This distinction between living and non-living matter 
rests on the conception that the temporal states of the living 
organism are related to each other in a purposive fashion such 
that, to use Stout’s phrase, living creatures exhibit persistence 
with varied effort; whereas in the case of a physical body that is 
not so. 

It is sometimes argued that the development of the quantum 
theory shows that physics, as well as biology, must introduce the 
purposive principle. Whitehead‘? states, for example, that 
“biology is the study of the larger organisms; whereas physics is 
the study of smaller organisms.” However, the plain fact of 
scientists’ experience is that all physicists and chemists who, are 
dealing with the quantum theory are competing with each other 
to eliminate the gap in knowledge which renders such a line of 
argument plausible, whereas even “‘mechanistic’’ biologists are 
content nowadays to turn their attention to more profitable pur- 
suits than the attempt to solve the old mechanist-vitalistic con- 
troversy. Thus a biochemist as little prone to accept anything like 
a vitalistic superstition as J. B. S. Haldane writes:¢* “In practice 
the physiologist, although he may be and should be mechanistic 
in his details, is never mechanistic about the organism as a whole,” 
and ‘“‘even if one is a rigid mechanist in theory, in practice one 
needs another principle. One finds that the organism somehow 
regulates itself.’’«9 

It is now generally recognized that the relations between 
physics, chemistry and biology can be expressed by saying that 
the province, of chemistry is the molecule. If the chemist goes back 
to the atom he becomes a physicist, whereas if he goes forward to 
the cell he becomes a biologist. If he perches himself on the 
boundary between the molecule and tlie atom he is a physical 
chemist. If he precariously balances himself on the edge between 
chemistry and biology he is a biochemist. 

The question which science has been facing ever since psycho- 
logy sought admittance to its halls, is whether the introduction of 
the purposive element is possible on the strictly scientific plane as 
soon as the process of abstraction involves the appearance of 

48 Article, Comparative Psychology by L. T. Hobhouse, in Encyclopedia Britannica (14th 

Edition). Hence, as John Macmurray puts it (Interpreting the Universe, London, 1933, 
Pp. 109), “life never is at any moment. It is always becoming.” 

47 Science and the Modern World, p. 129. 
48 Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences (London, 1938), p. 115. 
49 Ibid., pp. 119-4. 


human purposes and valuations among the data for investigation. 
To introduce human purposes is to break with the traditional 
scientific scheme since, as we have seen, modern science arose (to 
use Aristotelian language) when interpretation of phenomena in 
terms of final causes was deliberately eschewed in favour of 
description in terms of efficient causes. In more modern parlance 
modern science developed by ignoring questions of ‘“‘Why?” and 
concentrating on questions of “How?” Thereby has arisen the 
notion that science deals with means and not with ends. Episte- 
mologically this notion has been expressed in terms of the separa- 
tion between science and philosophy. But this logical bifurcation 
of reality which for several centuries has been part of the scientist’s 
creed has never been rigorously practised. At various stages in the 
intellectual history of Western civilization attempts have been 
made either to exhibit the scientific account of the Universe 
within the context of a complete philosophical scheme or to 
explain the Universe in scientific terms. In the nineteenth century 
the rapid expansion of man’s control over nature furnished the 
socio-psychological roots of the self-confidence of those who, like 
Ernest Heinrich Haeckel in Germany and John Tyndall in Great 
Britain, claimed that the categories of physics and chemistry were 
adequate for the description of the whole universe. These thinkers _ 
failed lamentably to defend their thesis against its critics, and its 
own epitaph was written by Ludwig Buchner when in controversy 
he was forced to make his famous remark that the brain secretes 
thought as the liver secretes bile. To such depths of absurdity were 
the scientific materialists reduced in their attempts to justify their 
conviction that it was possible to give an exhaustive account of 
both the knower and the known, to use Whitehead’s apt phrase, 
in terms of material entities moving through space and enduring 
through time. : 
The inevitable outcome was that the pendulum swung to the 
- other extreme so that the philosophy of science which replaced 
mechanistic materialism took as its starting point the absolute 
separation between science and metaphysics. As developed by 
Ernst Mach in Austria, Paul Duhem in France and Karl Pearson 
in England, it based itself on a phenomenalist theory. of knowledge 
and maintained that since the primary data of science are sense- 
impressions, science has no concern with what may or may not lie 
behind sensed phenomena. Its intellectual self-abasement was so 
thoroughgoing that in what is its most complete expression, E. W. 


Hobson’s Gifford Lectures, The Domain of Natural Science,*° it is 
stated that “logical incompatability between theories relating to 
different domains affords no ground for denial of their scientific ' 
truth,” whilst a distinguished American physicist, K. K. Darrow, 
advised his readers®+ “to adopt the practice of regarding atom 
models as creations of the imagination.” This was going too far 
and many scientists with a philosophical bent rejected such tame 
claims for their enterprise and advocated a realist view of the 
nature of scientific knowledge. Max Plarick asserted emphatically 
that “atoms, little as we know of their actual properties, are as real 
as heavenly bodies, or as earthly bodies around us, and when I 
say that a hydrogen atom weighs 1°6 x 10-*¢ grms., the statement 
involves as much learning as the statement that the moon weighs 
7 X 105% grms.,’’5? while A. N. Whitehead, in his Tarner lectures at 
Cambridge in 1919, implored his fellow scientists to “do away 
with this elaborate machinery of a conceptual nature which con- 
sists of assertions about things which do not exist in order to 
convey truths about things which do exist.’’5# 

The controversy between the realists and the phenomenalists is 
not yet over, for the latter, now calling themselves logical positi- 
vists, have returned to the attack with vehemence, and, strength- 
ened by the addition of Bertrand Russell, Whitehead’s former 
collaborator, they show a self-confidence (if not a unity) which 
matches that of Tyndall and Biichner. 

Moreover, in all these controversies, from Haeckel to Carnap, 
there has been fundamental agreement about what I have previ- 
ously called *4 in this chapter the doctrines of science. The differ- 
ences have emerged only in interpreting their significance for the 
wider problems of philosophy. However, these doctrines, as the 
logical bases of a living movement, that of modern science, have 

‘ been embedded in a tradition which has furnished “‘the mental out- 
look” or “‘the climate of opinion,” or what I can only call “the 
dogma’’®* of the scientific movement, as the set of unconscious 
presuppositions in terms of which activity based on the doctrines 
of science has functioned. 

We have seen that science developed in a bourgeois society, 
based on a capitalist economy, and so this body of dogma which 

50 Cambridge, 1922. 51 In Contemporary Physics (New York, 1926). 
52 See English translation: Survey of Physics (London, 1926), p. 36. 

53 The Concept of Nature (Cambridge, 1920), p. 44. 

54 See p. 72. 85 See above, Chapter I, p. 37. 


I shall sometimes call rational individualism, and sometimes call 
scientific individualism, and sometimes call liberal rationalism, ®¢ 
stands in the same relation to the doctrines of orthodox economic 
theory as it does to the doctrines of experimental science.57 It has 
been, so to say, part of the air modern man has breathed and, to 
continue the metaphor, that air has been rendered by develop- 
ments within the scientific movement itself and, much more so, 
the economic and political structure of the modern world, some- 
what stifling. To some account of the effect of these developments 
* we must now turn. 

5@ The use of these diverse phrases to indicate the same “dogma” is inevitable; no 
single Phrase can be adequate. Ail that:we can do is, by the judicious combination of 
ifferent nouns and adjectives, to point out the salient features of what is, to mix the 
metaphor, an organic whole. 
5? Thus what I call “rational individualism” is much wider than—although it 
includes—the ‘‘assumption of scientific materialism” which A. N. Whitehead has so 
. vehemently attacked. He describes it as the belief that “presupposes the ultimate fact 
of an irreducible brute matter, or material, spread throughout space in a flux of con- 
figurations. In itself such a material is senseless, valueless, purposeless. It just does what 
it does do, following a fixed routine imposed by external relations which do not spring 
from the nature of its being.” (Scfence and the Modern World, 1927, p. 22.) 



“Our little systems have their day; 
They have their day and cease to be.” 


T use of the word, “dogma,” to describe the body of pre- 
suppositions which indicates the climate of opinion for an 
era and especially, in view of its theological associations, to do so 
in dealing with the foundations of science is one likely to create 
misunderstanding. To the mind of the typical “modern” the 
questions will naturally occur: “Does not dogma stand for a pro-. 
position which cannot be questioned?” and “Is not the dogmatic 
attitude poles apart from that of the scientists who claims the right 
to test the validity of any statement which claims to be true?” To 
substantiate the implied assertions behind these rhetorical ques- 
tions he would argue that surely it must be taken for granted that 
the scientist has no presuppositions which fetter his thinking, for 
to be scientific is to be objective and impartial; it is to derive what 
one believes from reason and experiment and not from a priori 
_ theological or meta-physical speculation. 

However, to argue this simply illustrates the plea I am making. 
The use of the phrase, “taken for granted,” as describing the 
scientist or his procedure explains why, in the absence of a better 
alternative, I have used the word, “dogma.” It indicates what we 
take for granted, the initial premises of our argument or the basis 
for our activity whether in life or in the laboratory. The word 
“dogmatic” has achieved its present unsavoury. connotation pre- 
cisely because it indicates how people—whether Buddhists or 
Christians, butchers or bakers, rationalists or mystics, Marxists or 
Fascists, scientists or poets—behave when what they have taken 
for granted is denied or even questioned. Moreover, to assail 
dogma with logical argument cannot in the nature of things 
seriously affect the tenacity of belief with which a man or a move- 
ment holds his or its dogma, for the simple reason that it is dogma 
from which all argument begins and therefore argument about 
dogma (in this sense) must inevitably, beg the question at issue. 


Dogmas are only given up when they became inadequate not in 
logic but in life. Their logical adequacy can never be in doubt 
since on their own terms they even decide what shall be accepted 
as logical. . 

The first dogma of the scientific movement which we must 
examine? is that science is without assumptions or presuppositions. 
Philosophers have always known better ever since Descartes knew 
he had to begin with “cogito” before he could add “ergo sum” and 
this has been the case even when they have believed with Shad- 
worth Harrison? that the “philosophical problem is to find the 
means of philosophizing without making assumptions.” Hence 
philosophers have rightly regarded the principle of presupposi- 
tionlessness as the greatest presupposition of all.3 A few thinkers, 
however, have tried to maintain that epistemology alone can 
validly claim to be Presuppositionless since it can be defined as 
the study of the basic presuppositions of all knowledge. They have 
not travelled very far since they have left unanswered the question: 
“How does the epistemologist ever get ‘outside’ the sphere of his 
own self-consciousness?” 

The one clear conclusion from all these attempts is that the 
nearest the philosopher can approach to his ideal of “presupposi- 
tionlessness’’ is to admit only those presuppositions without which 
the undertaking itself would be devoid of meaning. Now if natural 
scientists—or to be more accurate the typical liberal rationalist 
mind which draws its support from natural science—would also 
8o conceive the meaning of “being without Presuppositions”’ all 
would be well. On this showing it could be agreed that science 
Tests on convictions which are continuously being justified by 
experience but which are in actuality logically prior to any attempt 
to prove them either by experiment or by inference. The trust in 
experiment is one such conviction. It cannot be proved by rational 
argument, as Hume showed once and for all; and it cannot be 
proved by experiment since that is what is at issue. 

Unfortunately, most liberal rationalists are too naive to perceive 

1 I should emphasize again the fact that since it is a dogma that we are examining 
it is impossible to split it up into its component parts, for a dogma is in the nature of 
things a Gestalt, The most we can do is to examine the dogma from different angles, 
realizing that to deal with the Part is ipso facto to deal with the whole. 

3 In a letter to William James. See The Thought and Character of William James by 
R. B. Perry (Boston, 1935); Vol. I, p. 623. 

3 See the article The Ideal of @ Presuppositionless Philosophy by the editor, Marvin 
Farber, in Philosophical Essays in Memory of Edmund Hussert (Cambridge, Mass., 1940), 


that science rests on judgments the validity of which must be 
accepted by the scientist before he can either experiment or. 
think. Philosophically sophisticated scientists, however, like the 
biologist J. H. Woodger, are quite aware of this fact. In his 
impressive book Biological Principles* he has gathered together a 
list of the fundamental judgments upon ‘which all our natural 
scientific knowledge rests and which cannot be inferred from any- 
thing else. He sets them out as follows: 
A. Empirical. 
Judgments of Perception, e.g. “This rabbit is white.” 
B, A priori. 
(A priori not in the sense of being known prior to experience but in 
the sense of being logically independent of experience; “‘elicited by” 
experience, but neither provable or disprovable by experience). 
1. Not “self-evident” but essential for the possibility of scientific knowledge: 
a. Belief in a real external world. 
b. Belief in the trustworthiness of memory. 
c. Belief in the existence of other selves. 
d. Belief in some sort of regularity in the external world. 
2. Self-evident as well as essential for knowledge. 
a. Analytic (in the sense that the opposite would be self-contradictory), 
e.g., foot equals 12 inches (i.e. defining and explicatory judg- 
ments). > 
b. Synthetic, e.g. propositions concerning the relations between 
universals—‘black is different from white.” “The whole is greater 
than the part.” “If a equals b and b equals c, then a equals c.” “If 
a entails b and a is true, then b is true.” (Where a and b are 
propositions and “‘a entails b” means “‘b logically follows from a.”) 

Some writers would consider this list too long. Thus, writers 
like the astronomer, H. Dingle,* have claimed that science is 
. possible without the belief in some sort of regularity in the 
external world. Their position is either that the regularities in 
Nature, discerned by the scientists, are really self-imposed by the 
investigator—in other words, they are created by him and not 
discovered—or, alternatively, that there may be regularities in 
nature and, if so, the scientists may be able to discover them and 
express them in the form of scientific laws. The former seems to be 

‘ the position which Dingle is defending. That it cannot, however, 
be maintained is evident if we consider the attitude of the scientists 
which is: “‘There are regularities in nature-and if I fail to discover 
them that is not because there is no Order of Nature but owing to 

ea ee eae ey tee. 

ee a ee a re ce sai a, 


the, intellectual and experimental limitations under which I 
work.” As F. H. Bradley used to insist, 

The whole of science takes it for granted that the “‘not-ourself” is really intel- 
ligible; it stands or falls with this assumption.® 

Thus knowledge in science consists, on the one hand, of certain 
primary truths and, on the other hand, of the main body of 
scientific knowledge, expressed in laws and theories, which are 
erected on the basis of these primary truths.’ In so far as a spatial 
metaphor is at all adequate we can say, that as our scientific 
knowledge in general increases, our knowledge of these primary 
truths grows deeper, whereas our knowledge of the main body of 
science grows more extensive. A convenient method of distinguish- 
ing between these two aspects of knowledge in science is to con- 
sider their relation to the passage of time. Further experience (i.e. 
as time elapses) means the discovery of more facts, a state of affairs 
which compels the scientist to revise his-laws and reconstruct his 
theories; but the lapse of time cannot have any effect on his trust 
in the validity of these primary beliefs. This is not to deny that 
the scientist’s trust in the validity of these primary beliefs does 
not receive continuous support and justification as the result of 
further experience, but this trust in the mind of the scientist is not 
something which depends on results for its justification. That such 
is the evident if any scientific investigator cares to indulge 
in an introspection of his attitude as he works in his laboratory. 
An example, taken from the experience of the writer, furnishes an 
illuminating illustration of this view of the matter. A year was 
spent in a vain attempt to photosynthesize an: optically active 
carbohydrate by searching for an “efficient” catalyst. A constant 
repetition of negative results failed to suggest to him that he should 
examine the adequacy of these primary beliefs as the possible 
source of his failure, or indeed as a necessary antecedent for any 
scientific investigation. Instead, all his efforts to search for the 
cause of his lack of success were directed elsewhere, for example, 

6 Ethical Studies (Oxford, 1927), p. 73- = 

7 My use of this term may be misleading since I do not wish to imply that they can 
be deductively proved or that they are “self-evident” or that they can be known by 
“intuition.” In so far as they can be expressed, they become formulations of what is 
implied in the total body of scientific knowledge, viewed as a coherent whole. 

Students of L. T. Hobhouse will readily perceive the debt which I owe at this point 
to his Theory of Knowledge (London, 1921) and to his Development and Purpose (London, 

| 1929). For an excellent résumé of Hobhouse’s epistemology see Chapter V of L. T. 
Hobhouse; His Life and Work by J. A. Hobson and =pinasray) Revit London. toner. 


the “poisoning”’ of each catalyst used, and a suspicion of the trust- 
worthiness of the results of his co-workers in the laboratory upon 
whose correctness the success of the method he adopted depended. 

To say that the scientist does not rely on results to vindicate 
his belief in, for example, the principle of the uniformity of nature 
is not to say that his experience does not lend some measure of 
justification to his belief in these principles. Indeed, we can say 
that it is these principles which give meaning to his experience and 
hence we can say, in the proper meaning of the term, that they 
are a priori. : 

The second feature of the dogma of liberal rationalism which 
muist be refuted is that of the complete separation of science from 
philosophy. In its most extreme form—as defended by Comte 
during the last century and the logical positivists in our own time 
this separation is inevitable since, so they say, science deals with’ 
ascertained facts and deductions therefrom, whereas philosophy is 
simply a matter of opinion. Among physical scientists the same 
radical separation is made. Here it is generally maintained—as by 
W. C. D. Whetham,* that science separated itself from philosophy 
for its own good at the dawn of the modern era. This is far too 
simple a view of the matter. Actually what happened was that the 
early scientific movement gave up the medieval philosophy of 
nature and its relation to man which it had inherited through St. 
Thomas Aquinas from Aristotle and it worked out its own 
philosophy in terms of a fundamental cleavage between man and 
the physical universe. 

On the medieval view, as we have seen in the previous chapter, 
the natural world was regarded as teleologically subordinate to 
man and his purposes. The notion that the earth was at the 
geometrical centre of the universe was the expression of this same 
conviction in terms of cosmology. It was reflected in epistemology 
in the fact that the medieval mind was completely unaware of the 
problem, ‘“‘How does it come about that the human mind knows 
anything at all?” Since the world had been made for man it was 
obvious to the Scholastic thinker that his mind could understand 
it and hence the use of categories, like matter and form, purpose 
and function, substance and essence in medieval thought. How- 
ever, the philosophy behind the dawning scientific movement was 
symbolized in the emergence of the heliocentric hypothesis 
whereby the earth became one planet among others. Explanation, 


not to say simply description, in terms of cause and effect, 
replaced final explanation in terms of purpose and function. The 
sun shone not to bring light and heat to man and to nourish his 
crops but because certain material bodies had a particular con- 
figuration in space and a particular temporal relation to the earth. 
Man was no longer the being for whom the earth was made but, 
to use the oft-quoted words of Bertrand Russell, “the product of 
causes which had no prevision of the end that they were achiev- 

In short, modern science, far from cutting itself loose from 
philosophy, took over—albeit unconsciously—a whole meta- 
physical system based on the concept of material particles endur- 
ing through time and moving through space. This would not have 
mattered a great deal had not the memories of the struggle with 
medievalism prompted the scientific movement to tie itself to the 
naive notion that philosophy was the villain of the piece, and 
science the source of light and truth. Thus, in scientific circles, all 
through the last century and well into this one, “philosophical” 
became a term of abuse, and “metaphysics” became the supreme. 
heresy. The situation was net made any easier by the superior 
attitude of professional philosophers. Speaking of their failure to 
counteract the fallacies of nineteenth-century evolution in his own 
country, the doyen of English historians of science records that 
“professed philosophers dwelt securely and apart in scientifically 
constructed ivory towers, erected in and protected by ancient 
universities. There they spoke (to each other) in the idiom of 
Plato. Such missives as they sent down to mortals (if they sent 
any) were incomprehensible to that considerable majority that 
did not understand the idiom.” Such an indictment loses no 
truth if it is extended beyond the limits of the British Isles or if it 
is generalized beyond biology so as to include tendencies within 
the physical sciences. 3 

This radical separation between science and philosophy served 
within the field of science as a kind of socio-psychological repres- 
sion. For a time, undisturbed by the more profound problems of 
human destiny, men of science were able to make tremendous 
strides. Gradually, however, like all repressions, it began to have 
an increasingly inhibiting effect, an effect which soon showed 
itself in the field of science itself. Thus, in the middle of the last 

Be Bee oe TL. oO. ars. wy. 


century, physics was retarded for years by the refusal of physicists 
to take seriously Julius Robert Meyers’ concept of the mechanical 
equivalent of heat, for to them Meyers’ theory sounded like the 
speculations of the despised natural philosophers. Curiously . 
enough the painful cost to science of this faithful adherence to 
Newton’s misplaced warning, “Physics, beware of metaphysics,” 
was perceived in the nineteenth century by a writer as little prone 
to be sympathetic to metaphysics as Engels. Referring to Kant’s 
thesis in his Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels'? 
that the solar system had evolved, Engels pointed out that had 
scientists paid any attention to.Kant’s book 

they would have drawn from this single discovery of genius by Kant such 
consequences as would have saved them infinite errors along circuitous paths, 
and an immense quantity of time and labour expended in a false direction. 
In Kant’s discovery lay the germ of all further progress. If the earth was 
something which had become, then all its present geological, climatic and 
geographical conditions had become also, its flora and fauna as well, and it 
must have a history not merely in space, but in time also.1# 

To take another illustration, in this case one nearer to our own 
day. In 1880, Michelson and Morley educed, in their classical 
experiments on the velocity of light, certain facts which did not . 
accord with the mode then current of thinking about the meaning 
of the contemporaneousness of events at different points in space. 
For more than a quarter of a century, until Einstein launched his 
special theory of relativity, theoretical physicists struggled vainly 
with a problem which never would have arisen if they had given 
a more strict attention to the meaning of the concepts they were 
using. The necessary revision of Newtonian physics might have 
been developed much earlier if they had been conversant with the 
analyses of the nature of space and time which were commonplace 

. among philosophers. Indeed, while it was conventional in scien- 
tific circles of the Anglo-Saxon world to dismiss the philosophers’ 
analyses of the ideas of space and time as empty vaporizing, 
Einstein was laying the foundations for his epoch-making theories 
by reading the philosophers. He writes: 

Kant interested me always but I do not believe that he influenced me 
greatly—if at all, by way of opposition. But I was impressed by Mach’s works 
and still more by Hume’s philosophical works. In the case of Mach the influ- 

11 E.T. by W. Hastie under the title Kant’s Cosmogony (Glasgow, 1900). 


ence was not only through his philosophy but also through his critique con- 
cerning the fundamentals of physics.1* 

An interesting confirmation of the argument that science has 
been hampered by this separation from philosophy is the fact that 
it is easier to teach relativity theory to students of philosophy than 
to teach it to students whose mental categories have been created 
by an acceptance of the traditional concepts of Newtonian physics 
whereby the absolute nature of space and time are taken for 
granted as the only possible way in which the human mind can 
deal with the problem of temporal duration and spatial extension. 

However, the acceptance of Einstein’s theory has not only made 
it clear to men of science that progress has been retarded by this 
intellectual self-centeredness whereby metaphysical speculation 
has been foolishly regarded as “empty vaporizing.” It has also 
shown that the traditional scientific scheme was not only the 
vehicle for a disguised metaphysic but, in addition, was inadequate 
for the demands which the internal development of science made 
upon it. The classical scheme ascribed ultimate reality and there- 
fore causal efficacy to a world of material particles enduring in 
absolute time and moving through absolute space in terms of | 
mathematically expressed, determined laws. This attack in terms 
of the relativity theory was by no means the first which had been 
launched against the traditional scheme. David Hume had riddled 
it with criticism by showing that the idea of cause and effect (like 
the belief in induction) as adopted by the fathers of modern 
science, was logically indefensible.14 Kant also had rested his 
whole system on the contention that the world, investigated by 
science, was only the world of phenomena and not that of ultimate 
reality. : 

However, all the attacks from outside the household of the 
scientific faith had been in vain, for science had always been able 
to trust in a faith which, if it could not remove the mountains of 
philosophical criticism, had enabled it to ignore them and, to 
mix the Biblical allusions, to pass by on the other side. When the 
faith of science demanded a miracle to sustain its belief it had 
always been able to work one. That was why the ether was in- 
vented even if, when philosophers asked awkward questions about 

“18 In a letter to the author. Cf. Eddington’s remark: “it is actually an aid in the 
search for knowledge to understand the nature of the knowledge we seek.” P. 5, The 
Philosophy of Physical Science (Cambridge, 1939). 

14 See in particular Section TV of hic Jaqere Concerning Eeomom Tindeestenciing 


it, the scientists had only been able to describe it in Lord 
Rayleigh’s aphorism as the nominative of the verb “to 
undulate.” . 

However, this faith was not adequate for the iconoclast 
Einstein, who came on the scene, trailing, not clouds of glory, 
but the results of the Michelson-Morley experiments on the 
velocity of light, interpreted in terms of non-Euclidean geometry. 
One by one the canons of Newtonian orthodoxy were dis- 
carded.1 The result was that no longer could a unique meaning 
be given either to the mass or the position of a body in space and 
its existence in time. 

Shattering though might be the blows inflicted on the founda- 
tions of the classical scientific scheme from those who, like Einstein, 
busied themselves with the macroscopic aspects of the physical 
universe, there was more to come. This time it was at the hands 
of those who, concerning themselves with the microscopic aspect 
of matter, developed the quantum theory. They brought to an end 
a process whereby physicists and chemists had been using certain 
ideas about matter, space and time as signposts in the accumula- 
tion of a body of knowledge which was destined, although they 
were quite unaware of it, to become quite inconsistent with these 
ideas. The resulting paradox is epitomized in the fact that the 
process which began with the wave theory of light ended with a 
wave theory of matter. ‘ 

Not merely did the quantum theory throw overboard the New- 
tonian idea that space and time are continuous but, led by 
Heisenberg, in his famous “Indeterminacy Principle,” it has 
renounced, at least in its nineteenth-century sense, the deter- 
ministic presupposition. Put in its simplest form and as expressed 
by Eddington, this principle states that ‘‘an electron may have 
position or it may have velocity but it cannot in any exact sense 
have both.”16 Heisenberg has generalized this conclusion by 
maintaining that 
the question whether from a complete knowledge of the past we can predict 

the future, does not arise because a complete knowledge of the past, involves a 
self-contradiction.!? : 

46 For a graphic account of this process, see The Evolution of Modern Physics, especially 
Chapter III, by Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld (Cambridge, 1938). 

1© The Nature of the Physical World (Cambridge, 1928), p. 220. 

17 Quoted by Eddington. Jbid., pp. 228~g. For a lucid survey of the experimental 
evidence which led to this conclusion see The New Conceptions of Matter, Chapter IV, 
by G. G. Darwin (London, 1931). 


Herein we have a perfect symbol of the collapse of the ontology 
which has been implicit in physical science since the dawn of the 
modern era: when physicists and chemists begin to discuss their 
basic problems within the halls of science itself, they find them- 
selves engaged in the disputations of metaphysicians, Thus what 
was foreshadowed in the nineteenth century, when resort had to 
be made so often to that half-disguised metaphysical entity, 
the ether, has now become a nightmare: the scientific account of 
the world has reduced the scientist to the mood when, with 
Heisenberg, he is constrained to say, in language radically 
different from that typical of the rationalism of the “modern” 
mind, that he “has a kind of faith in the correctness of the new 
principles rather than a clear understanding of them.’18 

One conclusion from the work of the last two decades in. 
mathematical physics is now inescapable. It is that, if by science 
we mean the establishment of causal connections between 
phenomena whereby if we are given a knowledge of the past and 
the present we can predict the future, then we are radically mis- 
taken. Instead, we must replace such an erroneous belief by the 
notion that scientific investigation is the attempt to correlate 
phenomena in such a way that one event can be interpreted in 
terms of and with reference to others and its future predicted in 
terms of probability. 

Such in brief is the state of affairs in contemporary physical 
science. It is one which is readily recognized by the leading figures 
in the scientific movement. However, fashions of thought persist 
as the hidden assumptions of an epoch even when they have out- 
grown the original purpose for which they were created and, 
paradoxically enough, science, which began as an anti-rationalist 
movement, has riveted on to the modern world an exaggerated 
trust in the power of reasoning, which equals, to use Whitehead’s 
phrase, the rationalistic orgy of the Middle Ages. This trust 
usually takes the form of arguing that the plight in which the world 
finds itself is due to the gap between “scientific knowledge” and . 
practical men. Thus H. G. Wells repeatedly turns to the idea2® 
that the great scientists of the world ought to get together and 
produce a world encyclopedia which, if permanently kept up to 

/ 18 Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory (Chicago, 1930), p. ix. 

a The Idea of a World Encyclopedia (London, 1937) and World Brain (London, 

1938). : 


date, would make scientific knowledge available to men of affairs. 
He argues that “we live in a world of unused and misapplied 
knowledge and skill,” for knowledge and thought are ineffective 
because of 

this wide gap between . . . the at present unassembled and unexploited best 
thought and knowledge in the world, and the ideas and acts not simply of the 
masses of common people, but of those who direct public affairs, the dictators, 
the leaders, the politicians, the newspaper directors and the spiritual guides 
and teachers.2° 

Wells seems half aware of the religious function which such an 
encyclopedia would serve for it would “‘play the role of an‘undog- 
matic Bible.’21, Lest the impression be given that Wells’ hopes 
from such a policy are being exaggerated, we will quote at length 
and use his own words: 

Such an Encyclopedia would play the role of an undogmatic Bible to a world 
culture. It would’ do just what our scattered and disoriented intellectual 
organizations of to-day fall short of doing. It would hold the world together 
mentally . . . it would bring together into close juxtaposition and under 
critical scrutiny many apparently conflicting systems of statement. It might 
act not merely as an assembly of fact and statement, but as an organ of adjust- 
ment and adjudication, a clearing house of misunderstandings; it would be 
deliberately a synthesis, and so act as a flux and a filter for a very great quantity: 
of human misapprehension. It would compel mien to come to terms with one 

More recently and on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, 
similar confusion has been preached by Waldemar B. Kaempffert, 
the science editor of The New York Times. In his Bergen lectures at 
Yale University he made the true but useless statement that 
If 100,000 first-class intellects can think internationally, think in terms of the 

planet and not of the particular nations to which they belong, nee is some 
hope for the rest of mankind.2 

The above statement is true but then so is the old adage that 
‘4f wishes were horses then beggars would ride.”? The statement is 
equally useless since we are not taken one millimetre toward the 
solution of any real problem by expressing, however we may seek 
to disguise it, nothing more important than the tautology that if 
the facts were different then the world would be different. 

This hidden assumption that a genuine. addition to human 
understanding is achieved by using arguments which contain the 

20 World Brain, p. 6. 22 Ihid., p. 14. 


conjunction if so as to conceal an impossibility is by no means the 
monopoly of journalists like Kaempffert or novelists like Wells. It 
is an assumption which vitiates the thinking of more serious- 
minded writers. Thus the responsible pages of the Encyclopedia of , 
the Social Sciences,2* with an unconscious sense of the appropriate, 
‘close its article on Science by Benjamin Ginzburg with a perfect 

Before the advent of science and technology, religion despaired of ameliora- 
ting the material conditions of men in this world and preached a compensation - 
in a mythical world to come. Science and technology make it possible—if25 

moral and practical development can keep pace—for men to realize the 
kingdom of God on earth. 

To return to Mr. Wells; even the tragic events since the Nazi 
invasion of Poland have not shaken his faith in his panacea. It is 
not that he is unaware of the contemporary tragedy for he writes 
about it with passionate feeling: 

The spectacle of evil in the world during the past half-dozen years—the 
wanton destruction of homes, the ruthless hounding of decent folk into exile, 
the bombings of open cities, the cold-blooded massacres and mutilations, of 
children and defenceless gentle people, the rapes and filthy humiliations and, 
above all, the return of deliberate and organized torture, mental torment and 
fear to a world from which such things had seemed well nigh banished—has 
come near to breaking my spirit altogether.26 : 

However, the message for mankind, springing from his an- 
guished despair of to-day, is essentially the same as the clarion call 
sounded forth in his optimism of yesterday. “I repeat my refrain, 
we need a world brain,’’27 and he confidently puts the onus on the 
members of the younger generation: 

The issue upon which I am in doubt is not whether I am right or wrong 

about the facts I have assembled; it is simply whether you of the new genera- 
tion can be sufficiently braced in time. 

The tragedy of the generation to which Wells belonged is that, 
although they were perfectly sincere in their beliefs, yet they were 
completely incapable of seeing how often their arguments, though 
logical, nevertheless rested upon premises which had no relation 
to the facts of human society. This was true, not only of popu- 
larizers like Wells but of that ‘unique combination of scholarship 
and business capacity, the late Lord Stamp—chairman of the 

24 New York, 1934. - 25 Italics mine. A. S. N. 


London, Midland and Scottish Railway and a director of the 
Bank of England. In his Presidential Address?* to the British 
‘Association for the Advancement of Science he declared that: 
Scientists see very clearly how, if politicians were more intelligent, if business 
men were more disinterested and had more social responsibility, if Govern- 
ments were more fearless, far-sighted and flexible, our knowledge could be 

more fully and quickly used to the great advantage of the standard of life and 
health—the long Jag could be avoided, and we should work for social ends. 

‘He utterly failed to deal with the cardinal problem of what 
scientists can do when they live in a world where politicians and 
business men like themselves and indeed everybody else are 
neither disinterested nor fearless to the extent so vainly desired. 

At the same meeting of the British Association Sir Richard 
Gregory, the eminent editor of the British scientific weekly, Nature, 
was more modest. He did not suggest that scientific methods, 
applied to the fields of economics and politics, were competent by 
themselves to solve modern social problems, but he maintained 
that at any rate they would enable the facts to be ascertained and 
assembled for consideration free from previous prejudice. Sir 
Richard seems quite ignorant of the one all-important fact and 
that is that all political differences reduce themselves on the last 
analyses to differences about what the facts are. It is this ignorance 
which leads him to attribute to disinterested ignorance what 
should be ascribed to interested intelligence. 

The same fallacy runs through the argument of all those who, 
with such tragic results, led the democratic countries of Europe to 
believe that differences between the Nazi régime and the victors 
in the First World War arose from ignorance of the facts on one 
or the other or both sides. Thus Lord Allen of Hurtwood urged in 
his Peace in Our Time?® that the League of Nations needed a series 
of fact-finding commissions to consider grievances, but he paid no 
attention to the crucial problem arising out of the fact that “fact- 
finding commissions” would find the facts to be such that griev- 
ances would arise out of them, however they were handled. 

The hidden assumption underlying the thinking of liberal 
rationalists, like those just quoted, is that reason is a neutral 
arbiter well above the strife and to which appeal can be made. 

This view of reason has a long history. It was entertained by 
Thomas Aquinas and it is still an integral part of Roman Catholic 
epistemology with its contention that God may be known, in the 

Ae e a tite fat Pe ea (ea ee 


words of the Vatican Council,’ “by the natural light of human 
reason by means of created things.” Richard Hooker embraced it 
explicitly in his famous Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity” when he 
wrote: “The natural means whereby to judge our doings is the 
sentence of Reason determining and setting down what is good to 
be done.” It is a vivid commentary on the strange turn that has 
overtaken the relation between the scientific movement and the 
rest of human culture that Hooker’s book is directed against those 
who disparage human reason, foremost among whom were the 
protagonists of the scientific movement in sixteenth-century 
England. : 

In fairness to Hooker, it should be added that he never enter- 
tained the simplicities of the typical modern liberal rationalist in 
his view of reason. This is even more true of modern Roman 
Catholic thinkers like Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain who 
severely qualify orthodox Thomism at this point. The need for 
such or similar qualifications does not, however, perplex the, 
secular liberal rationalist. His basic error lies in his assumption 
that reason is always a neutral factor between different systems 
of knowledge or contending points of view. It is an ironic com- 
mentary on man that those human beings who deny the existence 
of a transcendent God are the first to claim that their jadgment 
transcends any sectional viewpoint. As the Old Testament writers 
well knew, idolatry is never far from atheism. 

H. G. Wells fills his writings with unconscious illustrations of 
this identification of a partial perspective with absolute truth. 
Thus his 
World Encyclopedia will have by its very nature to be what is called liberal. 
».. It will have to be guarded editorially and with the utmost jealousy against 
the incessant invasion of narrowing propaganda. It will have a general flavour 
of what many people will call scepticism. Myth, however venerated, it must 
treat as myth and not as a symbolical rendering of some higher truth or any 
such evasion. Visions and projects and theories it must distinguish from bed- 
rock fact. It will necessarily press strongly against all sectarian assumptions,32 

Such a description leaves unanswered many burning questions. 
Who is to interpret the meaning of “liberal”? Who is to “guard” it 
against what Marxists, N azis, and Christians would unite in 
regarding as the middle-class rationalist, “narrowing propa- 
ganda” of Mr. Wells? Who is to be the judge in “pressing against” 

30 Book I, Section VIII. See his collected works (London, 1888), Vol. I, p. g9. 
31 Loe, cit, p. 78. 


Wellsian delusions of grandeur or Wellsian sectarian assumptions? 
The source of Wells’ self-confidence is that in his judgment he 
knows how to distinguish “bed-rock facts” from “theories,” but 
nowhere does he give any indication that he has any glimmering 
of an understanding that there are no “bare” facts since facts are 
inevitably chosen in accordance with certain ultimate principles. 
True indeed are Alfred Marshall’s words that “the most reckless 
and treacherous of all theorists is he who professes to let facts and 
figures speak for themselves.” *? 

Wells is by no means alone. A graphic illustration of the 
canonization of his own viewpoint by a man who is young enough 
to know better is furnished by the Oxford historian, A. L. Rowse, 
in a review of Maynard Smith’s Pre-Reformation England. After 
recognizing the natural desire of Catholic and Protestant his- 
torians to write on the Reformation, Rowse naively goes on to say 
What one really wants is that the subject should not be dealt with by Church- 
men at all. What is required is that it should be treated by the wholly emanci- 
pated, by those who are freed from any childish, outgrown ecclesiastical bias 
either on one side or the other.33 

A historian on the American side of the Atlantic received a 
fitting rebuke to his implied assumption that to be outside a par- 
ticular tradition made an unbiased view of controversial ques- 
tions possible. In conducting the oral examination of a Mormon 
student who was submitting a Ph.D. thesis on a particular period 
of Mormon history, the historian asked the student if he, being a 
Mormon, considered himself sufficiently unprejudiced to write a 
thesis on Mormon history. The somewhat daring student appositely 
remarked, “Yes, if you, not a Mormon, consider yourself unpre- 
judiced enough to examine it.” 

This implicit assumption that the rationalist can transcend all 
bias and achieve an impartial perspective is not limited to his 
dicta on religion. He feels the same way about politics. Thus he 
has no difficulty in rejecting the Nazi or the Marxist philosophy in 
the name of Reason.** He fails to see that it is in the name of 

32 Quoted, p. 108, in Memorials of Alfred Marshall, edited by A. C. Pigou (London, 
1999 Nie Statesman and Nation (London, December 12, 1938). 

4% See article by Mortimer J. Adler in Harper's Magazine for October, 1940, where 
(p. 527) he enveighs against the members of the present generation of college students 
for not believing that democracy “can be proved to be intrinsically better than fascism.” 

In fairness to Adler, I should add that his view of reason is not as near to the naiveté 
of the liberal rationalists as the above quotation indicates. 


reason as he understands it. To those who maintain that there is 
no common rational ground on which the democrat and the 

azi can resolve their theoretical differences he replies, with W. T. 
Stace,*s that “in that case, our preference for democracy, we shall 
have to admit, is in the end nothing but an irrational prejudice,” 
This reply rests upon a completely mistaken understanding of the 
function of reason in human thought and life. Each system, 
whether Nazi, or Marxist, or liberal, or rationalist, or Protestant, 
or Catholic, or Hindu, has its own view of Treason. Reason, there- 
fore, is not a neutral principle which can be appealed to in favour 
of one rather than another of the competing systems. An illumina- 
ting parallel is that of language. It is impossible to describe a 
language except in terms of a particular language, for there is no 
language which is a “neutral.” : : 

It is true, of course, that in so far as any single system of belief 
can be expressed in intelligible terms then it must satisfy the 
formal demands of “reason” such as internal consistency, just as 
all languages must satisfy certain fundamental laws of grammar, 
However, the essential differences between the competing 
systems lie well.outside what little they have in common. All that 
reason can do is to exhibit the precise area of the conflict. between 
the different systems, not in terms of any universal principle, but 
in terms of categories drawn from one of them. This point Stace 
is forced to admit. From his own standpoint he rightly maintains 
that to affirm that there is common ground between the democra- 
tic and totalitarian sets of values “involves asserting that there is 
discoverable—however deep down and hidden from the sight of 
most of us it lies—a point from which the two theories begin to 
diverge, to branch off from one another, a common place of meet- 
ing from the ground of which rational argument can proceed.” 
He also sees clearly that : 

every set of ideals, moral or political, is an outgrowth of some theory— 
whether explicitly set forth or unconsciously assumed—about the nature of man.2® 

He does not see, however, that the agreement between the 
democratic and the totalitarian thinker to the effect that their 
difference finally resolves itself to a disagreement about the value 
of man is only a formal agreement which leaves the real issue un- 
touched. That is why Stace can conclude by saying: “‘Not that we 

35 In his preface to The Destiny of Western Man (New York, 1942). 

ga thse ot 


shall ever, of course, succeed in convincing our totalitarian 
opponents by any such argument. They do not appeal to reason 
any more.” The Nazi thinker would reply to Stace, “What you 
really mean to say is that we don’t believe in your liberal-demo- 
cratic-individualist reason any more.’ The Marxist would make 
the same reply except that he would substitute “‘capitalist- 
democratic-individualist’ for the Nazi’s “‘liberal-democratic- 

An excellent illustration of the fact that in the ultimate sense 
“neutrality” is impossible, is afforded by the word, “neutrality,” 
as the Nazis understand it. Thus, in an article, Neutrality and 
Democracy in the Twentieth Century,’? the author, E. H. Bockhoff, 
argues that 
neutrality is a democratic conception, based on free speech, free assembly and 
so on. Democracy, however, is a form of life which is not tolerable to Nazism. 
On the contrary, not only democracy but all its fruits and consequences are to 
be regarded as hostile. Indeed, neutrality is almost an absurdity. It can, how- 
ever, be regarded as something which can be tolerated by Nazism if and when 
the neutral State refrains from all comment on happenings, institutions and 
persons of the totalitarian régime. . . . If a country wishes to be regarded as 
neutral the Nazis demand that the government should forbid any remarks 
critical to Nazism, for it is fully responsible for every word of every citizen.®8 

Hitler used exactly this argument in his demand to Chamberlain 
that he should silence the anti-Nazi forces in Great Britain. 

* Closely related to modern man’s assumption that reason is a 
neutral principle transcending the differences between competing 
systems is the conscious or unconscious allegiance to pragmatism. 
He has readily accepted the principle that we must test everything 
by the way in which it works but he has not seen that consequences 
can only be evaluated in terms ofa criterion which transcends and 
yet is relevant to that which is being “tested.” From any other 
standpoint such a criterion will be regarded—and rightly so—as 
arbitrary. John Dewey’s writings on education are filled with 
illustrations of this tendency of the modern mind to absolutize his 
own criteria in the act of attacking others as arbitrary. Thus 
Dewey may be right in arguing that no tradition, be it that ofa 
political party or a Church, can be accepted as the final criterion 
but he is certainly wrong in assuming that therefore man does not 

87 In Rosenberg’s National-Sozialistische Monatshefte (National Socialist Monthy) for 

January, 1939. 
_ 88 Quoted by “Ignis” in an article The Situation in Switzerland in Contemporary Review 


need any such criteria at all. In practice one inevitably enters, In 
Dewey’s case it is that of early twentieth-century science, seen 
through the spectacles of an American middle-class liberal 
intellectual of an older generation. 

It is due to this confusion about the ultimate criteria of evalua- 
tion that the modern mind has been so prone to believe in progress 
for (to quote a typical exponent) “each and every problem of 
social life will yield to intelligent and patient investigation by the 
psychologist, the economist or the biologist.”’3¢ 

This optimistic philosophy, during its heyday over the last 
hundred years, had a secure material foundation in the expansion 
of capitalist enterprise over the whole world, and it found its 
intellectual justification in the theory of biological evolution. This 
conviction was reinforced by the successful application of the 
discoveries of science to invention, a process which led to an in- 
creasing capacity to satisfy man’s immediate needs. Wherever 
man met with an inconvenience, a gadget could be invented and 
marketed and the inconvenience could be removed. An appro- 
priate symbol of the effect of this process on human life is the 
debasing of the word “comfort.” Originally it meant strengthen- 
ing with an inner strength which enabled a human soul to rise 
above his material surroundings.t0 Now it means exactly the 
opposite. A comfortable existence is one which has integral to it 
the wherewithal to buy and use the gadgets of a plutocratic 

As W. E. Hocking*? dryly points out, if death and the weather 
seém to lie beyond man’s complete control, then modern man 
simply regards their conquest as postponed rather than impossible. 
It is still the silent assumption of modern man that, within this 
context, human intelligence pursuing scientific method in 
psychology and the social sciences can solve all problems and that, 
therefore, in this world and on the plane of history he will build 
Utopia.«? This unbelievable optimism never faces up to the truth 
of Bertrand Russell's remarks in his famous essay, A Free Man’s 

" Human Affairs by R. B. Cattell, J. Cohen, and R. M. W. Travers, London, 1938, 
. #0 E.g. in the Elizabethan English of the Authorized Translation of the Bible we 
have “Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people” (Isa. xl. 1). Similarly in the 1662 edition of 
the Book of Common Prayer, the Collect for the Third Sunday after Trinity runs 
“may by. Thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in ali dangers and adversities.” 

“1 In What Man Can Make of Man (New York, 1942). 
__# As exhibited, for example, by Joseph Needham in his Time the Pefreching Binee 


Worship. Though written in 1903, the progress of astronomical 
physics has not added nor substracted from their truth. They read: 

That all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the 
noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast 
death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man’s achievement 
must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these 
things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy 
which rejects them can hope to stand.‘ , 

The faith of the liberal optimist in'science is so profound that, 
when pressed to justify his faith in face of all the evidence against 
it as represented by wars, civil and international, he retorts in 
the words of his prophet, John Dewey: 

That coercion and oppression on a large scale exist no honest person can 
deny. But these things are not the product of science and technology but of the 

perpetuation of old institutions and -patterns untouched by the scientific 
method. The inference to be drawn is clear. 

‘It is that past failures are due to the fact that the scientific 

has not been tried at any time with the use of all the resources which scientific 
material and the experimental method now put at our disposal. 

Modern warfare by its nature and extent in the contemporary 
scene provides a tragically apt illustration of the argument against 
the belief in progress. Never has a civilization arisen whose hopes 
have been more extravagant and yet doomed to such complete 
frustation. The wars which convulsed Europe in centuries previous 
to Napoleon’s time did not disturb the minds and emotions of large 
masses of people—whole classes or whole nations. Entire com- 
munities sometimes suffered devastation but more often than not 
the citizens of, say, a besieged city would pass from the power of 
one king or commander to that of another without suffering any 
extensive loss in life and property. As the physician-historian, Dr. 
Winter, in John Steinbeck’s novel, The Moon is Down, remarks 
“Kings and princes played at war in the way Englishmen play at 

43 In Mysticism and Logic (London, 1918), p. 47- The most recent of serious considera- 
tions of the future of the earth comes from George Gamow, the Russian theoretical 
physicist, in his book The Biography of the Earth (New York, 1941). He reviews the 
evidence~drawn from astronomy, physics, geology and biochemistry—and comes to 
the conclusion that terrestrial life will come to an end in about ten billion years’ time 
when the sun will become about a hundred times hotter than it is to-day with the result 
that the average temperature of the earth’s surface will reach approximately 100° C. 
(See pp. 235 f:)- 

44 Liberalism and Social Action (New York, 1935), p- 82 and p. 52. 


hunting.” However, the wars of the French Revolution and the 
Napoleonic Empire changed all this, for they were far more 
devastating than any which Europe had previously seen. They 
manifested an energy and a ruthlessness which had previously 
been unknown, precisely because they were coniflicts not between 
dynasties or rival barons but because they were wars between 
nationalized states. Indeed, the transition from the monaychial 
state to the democratic state brought with it the psychological as 
well as the economic possibility of a vastly increased expansion of 
the powers available for armed conflict. 

Thus in a sense we can say that the present war is simply the 
natural outgrowth of a process which is more than a century old. 
There are, however, two factors which indicate that war in the 
twentieth century is “totally”? more devastating than those in 
previous centuries. The first is that when Napoleon conquered 
Europe he did so in the name of and bringing the message of the 
liberal revolution with its ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity; 
but as Hitler conquers Europe he does so in the name of the very 
negation of these ideals. The second is even more significant. 
Napoleon’s armies moved very little faster than those of Julius 
Cesar or Alexander the Great. However, thanks to the technical 
development of the radio and the internal combustion engine, a 
whole mechanized army of to-day can move faster than the 
speediest cavalry division of previous times. 

Moreover, to-day whole nations or races or classes (thanks to the 
technique of communication of ideas based on modern science) 
can feel, and what is more disconcerting, claim the right to feel, 
the passion of hatred for those who do not belong to their nation, 
their class, or their race. 

So, too, in domestic affairs within a nation. The political life of 
Great Britain in the decade before Hitler’s invasion of Poland was 
marked by deliberate appeals to class and national sentiment. 
During the General Election in 1935 more than one constituency 
was deluged with pamphlets urging the electors: “Do not betray 
your class—-vote Labour.” From the Conservative side Sir Edward 
Grigg att»cked Communism which, “by preaching class war, un- 
dermined national unity, and that was a sacred possession to be 
preserver at all cost.’’¢5 A member of the then British Cabinet, * 
Sir Samuel Hoare, was greeted with cheers when he informed+ 

Speech at Altrincham. Reported in The Times, October, 17, 1936. 
4% Reported in The Times, October 2, 1936. 


the Annual Conference of Conservative and Unionist Associations 
that “the communications of a great oceanic empire must be 
secured, whatever may or may not happen in other countries of the 

Such tribalism of the intellect and will is not restricted to the 
European side of the Atlantic Ocean. In a report to the Biennial 
Meeting of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in 
America, held as recently as 1941, the committee dealing with 
The State of the Church solemnly concluded that “‘the overwhelming 
weight of opinion in the churches is against American involvement 
in foreign*? wars.” 

It is a sad commentary on the failure of liberalism with its 
pathetic reliance upon science and popular education that these 
two factors—in the radio and the popular newspaper respectively 
—have been mainly responsible for the universality of the emotions 
of hate and fear. 

It is not merely that war is the supreme symbol of this process 
at work but it is also its inevitable effect. History has vindicated to 
the hilt Benda’s prophetic words** (written in 1928): 

If we ask ourselves what will happen to a humanity where every group is 
striving more eagerly than ever to feel conscious of its own particular interests, 
and makes its moralists tell it that it is sublime to the extent that it knows no 
law but this interest—a child can give the answer. This humanity is heading 

for the greatest and most perfect war ever seen in the world, whether it is a war 
of nations, or a war of classes. 

We have taken war as an example since it is the most forceful 
and the most tragic illustration of the way in which events have 
so rudely shaken the optimistic belief in progress which has been 
one of the cherished dogmas of the liberal outlook. Had we taken 
any other illustration the same conclusion would inevitably have 
forced itself upon us: man’s history, whether in the life of the 
individual or the life of society, is one long commentary on the 
theme that with ever-increasing possibilities and achievements of order 
there come ever-increasing possibilities and achievements of chaos. 

The growth of any child furnishes a dramatic illustration of this 
theme for all who have eyes to see. The child, when a baby; lies 
in his cot, placid and content until he drops his rattle over the 

* side. The fond father, left to look after his offspring, puts down his 
book or newspaper and crosses the living-room, to pick up the 
47 Italics mine. A. S. N. 
48 The Treason of the Iniellectuals, p. 183. 


offending rattle. As he does so he longs for the time when the child 
has made sufficient mental and physical growth to retrieve his 
own lost property. The infant grows and achieves this capacity to 
introduce order into his young life. The parent’s longed-for 
possibility of order has now been achieved. However, with ever- 
increasing possibilities and achievements of order there come 
ever-increasing possibilities and. achievements of chaos. The same 
infant legs and arms which can retrieve lost rattles can now climb 
stairs and turn on bath-taps, and the fond parent must now put 
down his book or newspaper not to be interrupted from his read- 
ing for a minute but to spend several minutes dealing with over- 
flowing wash bowls. To give a more sophisticated example, Karl 
Mannheim’s shrewd observation*® can be quoted: 

The leisure which technical improvements have brought in their wake has 
raised a number of social problems, need for political conflicts, educational 
readjustments, etc., which sap the energy which technique originally set out 

. to save, 

" Indeed, every advance in science inevitably illustrates this theme. 
The invention of the miner’s safety lamp by Sir Humphry Davy 
did not diminish the number of deaths in coal-mines since it made 
it possible for deeper mines to be worked.*° 

This co-ordinating and integrative principle that with ever- 
increasing possibilities. and achievements of order there come 
ever-increasing possibilities and achievements of chaos is not only 
true of man’s rational life. It is bound up with man’s existence as 
man. It means that each level of moral and spiritual achievement 
has its corresponding temptations and the inevitable failure which 
follows the attempt to achieve the goal which the human spirit 
sets before itself. In the graphic words of Aldous Huxley, 

The intelligence, the sensibility, the spirituality of Satan is always exactly 
proportionate to the intelligence, sensibility and spirituality of the individual 
“in whom he is at work.5t 

We have so far discussed the collapse of the liberal dogma of 
scientific individualism from the standpoint of the natural sciences, 

40 In article, Present Trends in the Building of Society, p. 279 of Human Affairs, edited by. 
R. B. Cattell et al. (London, 1938). 
pci See J. G. Crowther, British Scientists in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1935), Pp. 


§1 Huxley’s conclusion at the end of his biography of Father Joseph, Cardinal 
_Richelieu’s Secretary of State, Grey (London, 1941). 


as such, and in the light of their impact on society. As we worked 
out our conclusion that the assumptions that science is presup- 
positionless; that it is completely independent of philosophy; and 
that it views reason as a neutral arbiter between contending 
opinions, can no longer be entertained, only indirectly did we 
consider the social sciences. We must now give more explicit 
attention to the state of psychology and the social sciences and 
ascertain whether the signs of the times in these spheres of learning 
also indicate that the liberal dogma must be seriously revised. We 
shall find—to overrun the argument—that such is the case and, 
what is more, we shall see that another feature of that dogma 
(which so far we have not explicitly considered), to wit, that 
science is objective and impartial in the liberal sense, is no longer 

In parenthesis we might notice here that in a most profound 
sense we can say that the claims of psychology and sociology to be 
called sciences really means that the scientific movement has come 
to an end of an era. As we have seen in the previous chapter, 
modern science began with Galileo by taking as its field the sim- 
plest possible properties of matter, viz. mass, speed and extension. 
Thence arose mechanics and, out of that, physics. The next move 
came when chemistry emerged as the study of the specific pro- 
perties of matter. By the middle of the nineteenth century, thanks 
largely to the work of Charles Darwin and his followers, biology 
could lay successful claim to be called a “science.” Not the least 
significant fact about Karl Marx in the social sciences and Sig- 
mund Freud in psychology is that in his own field each of these 
two pioneers can rightly claim to have introduced—in a fashion 
not equalled by any of their predecessors—the method and prin- 
ciples of the natural sciences. This has simply meant that science 
has become scientific about itself. In psychology we are, among 
other things, considering the scientist scientifically. In sociology 
we are, among other things, considering the scientific movement 
scientifically. In either case we Have science turning to itself as the 
field for investigation.5* 

Just as natural scientists have adopted the conventional belief 

53 T would remind the reader that this attempt to separate out the different features 

ofa particular dogma is extremely artificial. To attack any part of a dogmatic outlook 
is simultaneously to be attacking the whole. 

58 J am indebted to Mr. F. B. Welbourn for pointing out to me that John Macmurray 
has similarly worked out the significance of the emergence of “‘a psychology of psycho- 
logy’’ and “‘a sociology of sociology” in The Boundaries of Science (London, 1939). 


that physics and chemistry were able to advance by ceasing to be 
regarded as a branch of philosophy (‘‘natural philosophy”’) so for 
the past few decades it has been part of the orthodoxy of the 
liberal tradition to miaintain that psychology only became 
scientific when its practitioners ceased to regard it as a branch of 
philosophy (‘‘mental philosophy’) and instead viewed it as an 
autonomous subject. 

There is little doubt but that psychology has made tremendous 
strides by departing from the endless verbal analysis of the mean- 
ing of “‘perception,” “‘attention,” “‘introspection,”’ and the like, 
characteristic of traditional mental philosophy, and by seeking 
instead to base itself upon empirical facts experimentally dis- 
covered. However, as developed through the work of its most 
brilliant exponents, Freud, Jung and Adler, nothing has done 
more than modern psychological studies to shake man’s confi- 
dence in the dogma of liberal rationalism. 

The first. canon of liberal orthodoxy to be shaken from this 
‘standpoint is the notion that science is without presuppositions 
and that it is independent of all philosophical assumptions. This 
can be seen from two angles, the first by considering how method 
depends on ontological assumption and the.second by noticing | 
that differences between the psychological schools are “‘trans- 
scientific.” In short, that they are philosophical. 

In considering the first, let us take a clinical problem like ‘that 
of the integration and life-adjustment of the single woman. Among 
the workers who have dealt with this problem let us consider 
Laura Hutton** and Esther Harding.** 

Both these writers are concerned with solving the same thera- 
peutic problem. Their results are strikingly dissimilar. Dr. Hutton 
describes a technique that is directed toward the achievement of 
individuality and freedom by the autonomous self. Dr. Harding, 
on the other hand, presents a technique which is based on the need 
for the human self to find its fulfilment in loyalty to trans-human 
values. It is quite clear that these two medical psychologists adopt 
two different means of achieving the same end because they 
approach the problems of their science from the standpoint of 
differing presuppositions. In other words, their scientific conclu- 

54 See, e.g., Foundations of Social Hygiene (published by the British Social Hygiene 
Council, London, 1930), where (p. 26) Cyril Burt accepts this view of the matter. 

55 The Emotional Life of the Single Woman (London, 1937). 


sions about means are conditioned, almost to the point of being 
determined, by their allegiance to particular values. 

It is not enough to say that this ought not to be the case. There 
is not a single psychologist living who does not at some important 
point in the presentation of his conclusions exhibit similar illustra- 
tions of the same process at work. What is more, there is no reason 
to believe that the situation will ever be different unless the differ- 
ences between the opposing psychological schools are seen to be 
what they are, viz. trans-scientific. 

It is failure to see this which leads to so much bitterness among 
the contending schools. Thus William McDougall maintained*’ a 
few years ago that the lack of discussion between the Freudians 
and the non-Freudians is hampering the progress of psychology. 
He complained that the psycho-analysts, to quote his words, 

are little disposed to enter such discussion. They for the most part require of the 
psychologist unconditional surrender without parley of any sort. The disciples 
of each psychoanalytical sect are quite sure that they alone see the truth and 
that their prophet is the only true prophet. 

McDougall was completely unable to see that the differences he 
deplores are, in the sense we have been, using the word, dogmatic 
differences which cannot be solved on the easy plane of discussion 

which he optimistically describes: 

If scientific knowledge of human nature is not to be attained, that is not due 
to any intrinsic impossibility, any radical inadequancy of the scientific method: 
but is rather due to the lack in us of sufficiently developed intellectual powers.58 

Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that these differences 
cannot be solved on the scientific plane since they are religious 
differences. The different schools of psychology show all the signs 
of religious sects. They have their separate training schools, for all 
the world like theological seminaries. Convinced adherents of a 
school display an attitude toward the founder of a school which is 
reminiscent of allegiance to a religious leader. The writer was 
present a few years ago at a reception to meet C. G. Jung. After 
the founder of the Zurich school had delivered his address, one of 
the Jungians present turned to his neighbours and remarked, 
“Jung is the only source we have got; we can’t get behind him.” 
The speaker was not an adolescent schoolboy nor a neurotic 

57 See p. 17 of Psychoanalysis and Social Psychology (London, 1936). 
58 Tbid., p. 5. 7 


spinster, but a distinguished Fellow of the Royal College of 
Physicians. , 

Lest Freudians see in this incident simply an illustration of 
Jungian simplicity, I should ddd that one of their equally dis- 
tinguished leaders behaved so much like a religious fanatic in one 
medical school where he was teaching that its governing body now 
refuses to allow any analysed physician to teach in the medical 
school in question or practice in its attendant hospital. ‘This 
refusal is, of course, intolerant and absurd; however, it simply 
presents us with another striking illustration of the age-long 
problem of the attitude of the unbeliever when he is forded to deal 
with the, extravagancies of the over-enthusiastic believer. 

The history of Jung’s break with Freud graphically illustrates 
the fact that the study of psychological processes sooner or later 
challenges the scientist to make explicit his philosophical position. 
Freud’s discovery of genius was his proof that there exists a definite 
realm of psychological determinism. He saw that the emotional 
and mental life of man is not one sphere of meaningless and un- 
related thoughts, feelings, motives, sentiments and the like, but 
that each expression of the psychological life of the self, however 
trivial in appearance it may be, exhibits definite patterns of rela- 
tions with other manifestations of the self. It is no exaggeration to 
say that for an equivalent illustration of a genius’ perception of 
the inter-relatedness of things, we have to go back to Newton’s 
epoch-making discovery that the laws of gravity apply with equal 
relevance to a stone falling to the earth or to the moon revolving 
round it. 

However, as R. H. Tawney once remarked of Max Weber:5* 

It is a temptation of one who expounds a new and fruitful idea to use it as a * 
key to unlock all doors and to explain by reference to a single principle, 
phenomena which are, in reality, the result of several converging causes. 

This certainly happened with Freud and that is why he insisted 
that psychological theories should be limited to the explanation of 
empirically educed facts and—on the lines of deterministic ex- 
planations characteristic of nineteenth-century physics—he main- 
tained that psychology can only give an account of the self in 
purely causal terms. Jung, on the other hand, argues that causal 
explanation of this type, however useful it may be in relating 

59 In his preface to the English translation of Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of 
Capitalism (London, 1930). 


certain psychological phenomena, could not be regarded as an 
exhaustive mode of explanation. On the contrary, he maintains 
-that explanation in terms of ‘purpose is equally necessary. In short, 
Freud followed Galileo for whoni events in nature expressed a 
pattern of causal relations, whereas Jung insists that such a view 
by itself is inadequate. The wide divergencies between the two 
schools have been clearly recognized by the two leaders. Jung, for 
example, characterizing those who follow Freud as the Vienna 
school and those who follow himself as the Zurich school, describes 
the difference between the two schools as follows: 

I am unable to explain fully the fundamental differences between the two 
schools, but would indicate the following points: The Vienna school takes the 
standpoint of an exclusive sexualistic conception, while that of the Zurich 
school is symbolistic. The Vienna school interprets the psychological symbol 
semiotically, as a sign or token of certain primitive psychosexual processes. Its 
method is analytical and causal. 

The Zurich school recognizes the scientific feasibility of such a conception, 
but denies its exclusive validity, for it does not interpret the psychological 
symbol semiotically only, but also symbolistically, that is, it attributes a positive 
value to the symbol. 

The value does not depend merely on historical causes; its chief importance 
lies in the fact that it has a meaning for the actual present, and for the future, 
in their psychological aspects. For to the Zurich school the symbol is not merely 
a sign of something repressed and concealed, but is at the same time an 
attempt to comprehend and to point out the way of the further psychological 
development of the individual. Thus we add a prospective import to the 
retrospective value of the symbol. 

The method of the Zurich school is therefore not only analytical and causal, 
but also synthetic and prospective, in recognition that the human mind is 
characterized by cause and also by fines (aims). The latter fact needs 
particular emphasis, because there are two other types of psychology, the one 
following the principle of hedonism, and the other following the principle of 
power. Scientific materialism is pertinent to the former type, and the phil- 
osophy of Nietzsche to the latter. The principle of the Freudian theory is 
hedonism, while that of Adler (one of Freud’s earliest personal pupils) is 
- founded upon the principle of power.¢ : 

That a school of psychology differs from its rivals because of the 
differences as to which “principle” is to be taken as basic, proves © 
beyond doubt that the notion that science is independent of 
philosophy, however plausible it might be to the chemist or 
physicist, breaks down utterly as soon as we enter the realm of the 

60 Pp. vii—viii of the preface to his Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology (London, 

1916). 7 


Similarly the radical separation between fact and value which 
the liberal rationalist philosophy of science has taught, must be 
rejected if we seek an adequate intellectual basis for psycho- ° 
therapy. Even if the therapist, like some Freudians, believes in a 
moral nihilism, he cannot escape from the intrusion of morality 
into the very centre of his scientific technique. This is seen most 
clearly if we consider the well-known phenomenon of transfer- 
ence. If it is positive, then the patient graduafly assimilates the 
analyst’s general attitude toward life. If it is negative, then the 
patient, in rejecting one set of values and pattern of behaviour as*- 
desirable, inevitably accepts its opposite. In the emphatic words 
of the leading English exponent of Jungian psychology: 

his unconscious identification with the analyst is quite outside the sphere 
of the latter’s control. It is inherent in the analytical relationship. But for the 
analyst to wash his hands of this unconscious effect, with its far-reaching moral 
influence upon the patient’s subsequent development, is as irresponsible as 
though a surgeon were to shut his eyes to the inevitable dangers of hemorrhage 
and sepsis. The question of moral responsibility, therefore, is inherent in 
analytical practice, and, since-this is so, we have every right to demand of a 
practical psychological system that it shall attempt to discover the fudamental 

’ laws of human development and, as far as possible, to formulate them.#t 

Before we leave this consideration of the need to revise the 
traditional philosophy of science which modern psychology 
thrusts upon us, we must notice that the very nature of a neurosis 
presents us with what is perhaps the most forceful indication we 
have of the extent to which, in this realm, a science and its phil- 
osophy are integrally connected. Health can be defined as the 
successful adaptation of an organism to its environment. A broken 
leg caused by running into a bus, or malaria caused by a mosquito 
bite, indicate a state of affairs where the organism and its environ- 
ment were not in harmony with each other. Now, a neurotic con- 
dition is the result of an unsuccessful attempt :at adaptation of the 
self to the environment. The question which immediately occurs 
is: “What is the nature of the reality to which a particular indi- 
vidual has failed to make successful adaptation?” All serious 
answers to that question involve reference to an environment 
which is more than physico-chemical. Indeed, it is from this 
recognition that all modern medical psychology dates. As H. G. 
Baynes remarks: : 

&t H. G. Baynes in the preface to the English translation of Psychological Types, by 
C. G. Jung (London, 1923). 


The ‘minimal adjustment to objective conditions demanded by social life 
could present no insuperable difficulty to anyone but an imbecile unless there 
were another reality of a very different nature always competing with th 
egncrete world for prior claim upon our energy.*? : 

As soon as an attempt is made to give any further content to 
what we mean by this other reality then we find ourselves in a 
field which can only be called metaphysical. The Marxist will 
introduce the cohcept of the class struggle and the need for 
identification with the workers; the Nazi will introduce the con- 
cept of the “Volk” and the need for identification with the 
“Fuhrer”; the liberal rationalist will introduce the concept of 
individual freedom and the need for self-expression; while the 
Christian will introduce the concept of obedience to the will of 
God and the need for allegiance to Jesus Christ. 

Corresponding to each concept of the nature of the ultimate 
environment in relation to which successful adjustment is sought, 
there will be a correlative concept of the human nature or what 
can only be called the psyche or the soul. As R. Muller-Freienfels 

“remarks in opening his exhaustive Evolution of Modern Psychology, 
“The formerly ostracised soul (has) won admission and with full 
honours to the halls of science.’ 

‘The attack, from the standpoint of modern psychology on the 
liberal concept of reason as a neutral arbiter between contending 
opinions has been equally devastating. Other thinkers before 
Freud had suggested that the human mind was far from being a 
machine-like instrument pursuing truth for its own sake in a 
fashion unsullied by any hidden desire to find reasons for beliefs 
already held. Francis Bacon had remarked that 

the human understanding resembles not a dry light, but admits a tincture of 
the will and passions, which generate theiryown system accordingly, for man 
always believes more readily that which he prefers. 

F. H. Bradley had defined philosophy as the attempt to find 

reasons for what we believe on instinct. William James had intro- 

duced the notion of the will to believe. Bertrand Russell had sug- 

gested that one reason why scholars in the realm of the social 

sciences did not find the truth more often was simply because they 

did not want to. However, no one took them seriously; perhaps 
© Loc, cit., p. viii. 

63 Loc. cit., p. 1 (New Haven, 1935). 

& The Physical and Metaphysical Works of Lord Bacon. (Edited by Joseph Devey. 
Tondon. 18a1). pd, 2Q2. 


mainly because they did not do so themselves. The effective 
assumption of Western culture, certainly among professional 
thinkers, is that man’s reason, unfettered by dogma, freed from 
superstition and unhampered by tradition is, or at any rate can 
be, devoted to the pursuit of truth and nothing but the truth. This 
facile assumption can no longer be entertained. Whatever revision 
may be the future lot of Freudianism, its basic contention, that 
man’s reason is not the autonomous instrument which the liberal 
rationalist so easily believed it to be, will stand. Thanks to F ‘reud, 
an axiom of all future thinking on the problem of the knower and 
the known is that integral to all the surface manifestations of the 
reasoning mind is the influence of deeper motives, feelings and 
purposes which the individual thinker conceals not only from 
others but even from himself. 

It is important to notice that Freud and his followers do not 
accept with equanimity the fact that the mind is, so to say, 
poisoned at its source. On the contrary, the whole system of train- 
ing the analyst presupposes that the tendency of the mind to look 
round for reasons which justify already-held conclusions can, ° 
through analysis, be partially transcended. Correspondingly, the 
mind of the unanalysed person lies in chains. Indeed, so much is 
this the case that Freud, speaking for his school, expressed reluct- 
antly the following conclusion: 

We have been obliged to recognize and state as our considered opinion that 
no one has a right to a say in psychoanalysis unless he has been through certain 
experiences which he can only have by being analysed himself. 

By no possible series of logical circumlocutions can this conten- 
tion of Freud be fitted into the liberal rationalist’s picture of 
science as “objective” and “impartial.” One of the latter’s com- 
monest accusations against theology and philosophy is that their 
conclusions, unlike those of the sciences, have only an appeal to 
the already initiated, to the like-minded, to the disciples. In 
contra-distinction to philosophy or theology, science, he main- 
tains, has a universal appeal in virtue of the universal validity of 
its conclusions, which, of course, is not the same thing as universal 
understanding or comprehension. However, he adds, if conclu- 
sions are universal then they must be susceptible to universal 
transmissibility. In other words, he concludes they must be objec- 
tive and independent of the experience of the knowing subject. He 

95 New Introductory Lectures on Psichoanalysis (London. 1000\-n aR 


can either hold on to this tenet of his creed or he can accept the 
contribution of Freud and Jung as legitimate additions to the body 
of scientific knowledge. What he cannot do, and still claim to be- 
logical, is to try to do both. In practice there is no real choice and 
the notion that science is the correlation of all experience “com- 
mon to all normal people,’’* whence lies the origin of its objec- 
tivity and impartiality, must be relegated to the limbo set apart 
for outworn ideas. 

If the internal development of psychology illustrates the collapse 
of the liberal rationalist philosophy of science even more is that 
collapse thrown into clear relief by what has happened in the 
social sciences. Fifteen years ago, W. F. Ogburn and Alexander - 
Goldenweiser could close the introductory chapter of their 
ambitious volume, The Social Sciences and their Interrelations, with 
the words:97 

Civilization, nurtured and strengthened by the natural and the exact 

sciences, must henceforth look for its preservation and enhancement to the 
sciences of society. . 

A social scientist, making such a statement in this year of grace, 
would be either Rip Van Winkle or a fool. The only hope for the 
social sciences lies in a candid recognition that their failure to 
agree on the solution of any problem of importance has its origin 
in differences which are trans-scientific. This means that the whole 
thought world of the social sciences—what we have called the 
liberal dogma—in its relation to and in terms of which the tradi- 
tional disciplines took their meaning, must be reconstructed. 

There must first be the recognition that scientific method in the 
social sciences or anywhere else is not simply “getting at the facts.” 
This naiveté has persistently dogged the footsteps of social scien- 
tists, especially sociologists, ever since Comte’s elimination of the 
need for a true appraisal of philosophy in any attempt to under- 
stand society. In the United States this influence on sociology, the 
most foundational of the social sciences, has been particularly 
disastrous. F. H. Giddings set the style for a generation when he 
described the scientific study of society, in a book with that title, 
as “nothing more nor less than getting at facts, and trying to 
understand them and what science does for us is nothing more nor 
less than helping us to face the facts.’’6* : 

68 See Science and Human Experience by H. Dingle (London, 193). 


- Had sociologists not been ‘so obsessed with -Comte’s salf- 
confidence they would not have been so ready to show out meta- 
physics through the front door with the statement that scientific 
thinking had outmoded metaphysical thinking, only to admit 

: unconsciously through the back door, metaphysic’s bastard child, 
phenomenalism. Had they been a little more aware of what they 
were doing they would have saved themselves much labour in pre- 
paring—and research foundations much money in financing—the 
innumerable pretentious surveys of “‘the facts” of this, that, and 
the other social problem. They would have realized, in the classic 
words of T..H. Huxley to the biologists of his own day, that a 
collection of facts no miore makes a science than a heap of stones 
is a house. They would have recognized that the problem of the 
backwardness of the social sciences, as compared with the natural 
sciences, is not one which can be solved simply by the accumula- 
tion of facts. The search for more facts as the cure for our present 
ills in the social sciences is like suggesting that the remedy for 
indigestion is more food, or, for a drowning man, more water.6? 
What is in fact required is a new orientation of the facts. That in 
itself‘is, in a sense, a new fact but it is only another fact in the 
sense that a magnet is more iron; yet to bring it near to a crowded 
mass of iron filings is to introduce! an order which the mere addi- 
tion of more iron filings until Doomsday would certainly never 

This is not the place to attempt to sketch out the outlines of the 
way in which social facts are to be orientated or, to be more 
accurate, from what perspective new facts are to be collected and 
collated. It is sufficient for our immediate purpose to notice that 
48 soon as we enter into the intellectual realm where it is proper 
to discuss the nature of such a perspective, then we have left 
“science” and are engaged in dealing with philosophy. 

If the foregoing argument is sound we are left with the inevit- 
able conclusion that if we accept the autonomy of any one of the 
particular social sciences then we do so at the cost of excluding 
the more interesting, and indeed more urgent, problems of social 
science, since to deal with them is impossible, except in terms 
which throw overboard the traditional distinction between science 
and philosophy. This conclusion is well illustrated by the emer- 
gence of schools of thought within the social sciences, the clashes 

69 And in any case where are we going to stop in looking 
decennial index to Chemical Aheirariermntatend ee OS 

more facts? The last 


between them being of such a nature that they cannot be solved 
on the scientific plane since the very basis of rational discourse on 
that plane is excluded. This is evident if we notice that the 
counters of discussion such as words like “economics,” “politics,” 
“nation,” “man,” “class,” and the like, derive their different 
meaning from the philosophy of the opposing social groups or 
political parties which use them. Plainly, e.g. ‘“‘class’”” does not 
mean the same to H. J. Laski as it does to Mortimer J. Adler or 
Alfred Rosenberg. 

Herein we see why a book on method, such as History and Pros- 
pects of the Social Sciences,”° published as recently as 1925, is now 
strangely out of date, for it was written on the assumption that it 
was possible under the heading “political science” or “economic 
science” to discuss the subject matter of the two sciences as if they 
were as circumscribed as those of organic chemistry. or astro- 
physics. But now, in the days of a collectivized economic order, 
we see that these spheres are inextricably connected and that the 
measure of independence which they had was only valid during 
a restricted period in man’s life on this planet, viz. the rise and 
heyday of a capitalist economy based on the independence of | 
business activity from all government control except the furnish- 
ing and guarantee of the legal framework of private property. 
What is at stake, therefore, is whether these labels have any 
validity if they are applied to the affairs of the workaday world as 
distinct from the world of academic thought conceived as it is in 
terms of university departments. Perhaps the answer is that the 
labels are simply “academic” in’their significance. 

However the argument that if the social sciences are to prove 
fertile in the elucidation of living problems then they must be 
integrally related to philosophy ‘‘butters no parsnips” unless we 
face the truth of Paul Tillich’s dictum that “philosophy is tHe 
direct self-expression of a period in the theoretic sphere.’”’? 
Nothing indicates more clearly that we are in an age of cultural 
decline than the fact that logical positivism is the most influential 
school among younger philosophers. I do not wish to suggest that 
the whole of the activity of the logical positivists is a waste of time. 
In particular their appeal for and efforts toward an accurate and 
consistent use of language deserves nothing. but complete support. 

70 Edited by Harry Elmer Barnes (New York, 1925). 
1 The Religious Situation, English translation by H. R. Niebubr (New York, 1932), 


No one can enter the field of the social sciences from that of the 
natural sciences without reaching the speedy conclusion that not 
the least shortcoming of the social sciences lies in the failure of 
their original founders to create a new vocabulary. Instead of 
following the example of men like Galileo, Newton, and Dalton 
who devised a specific vocabulary for the new sciences of physics 
and chemistry, the makers of the social sciences sought to use the 
language of the marketplace and the council chamber and to 
make it serve a purpose for which it was never intended, namely, 
as the vehicle for precise thinking. The result has been calamitous 
for, to give one example, the word, “politics,” has been used both 
to designate the activity of Politicians and as a synonym for 
“political science’ as the scientific study of that activity. Similarly 
the noun, “economics,” has been used both to indicate, on the 
one hand, economic activity or economy and to indicate, on the 
other, “economic science” which is really the proper combination 
of adjective and noun to describe the study of that activity.72 In 
short, the same word has been used for the study of an aspect of 
the life of society as has been used to indicate that aspect itself. It 
is as if, for example, in the natural sciences, “physics” had been 
used as a noun to indicate both the study of the accidental pro- 
perties of matter and the properties themselves, 

Alternatively, in justifying the appeal of the logical positivist 
for the accurate use of language, we could have taken the un- 
critical use of spatial metaphors such as “outside” as indicating 
one contributory factor that has rendered the social sciences 
largely sterile. What, for example, are we to make of an economist 
like Lionel Robbins who devotes a book on The Great Depression?® 
to prove the thesis that the depression was due to arbitrary outside 
interference with the working of the economic system? What in 
Heaven’s name is outside the system? If a chemical reaction does 
not come up to expectation the chemist does not stand in a glow 
of self-admiration and then say that outside interference .is 
responsible. He investigates the nature and cause of that 
outside interference to find whether it comes within his proper field 
as chemist and, if it does, he accepts the challenge and seeks to 
discover what it is. It was precisely in this fashion that Sir William 
Ramsay and his assistants discovered the inert gases and added 

7 In countries like Germany, where more attention has been given to methodological 
studies, this ambiguity has not appeared. There the distinction between Wirtschaft and 

National Okonomie is readile apcer 


argon, krypton, neon and zenon to the list of chemical elements. 

However, to recognize the necessity of precision in the use of 
words is one thing. To-accept the adequacy of logical positivism 
in its entirety is quite another. There is little doubt that the rise 
of this doctrine in central Europe in the 1920’s and its subsequent 
acceptance by so many younger thinkers in the Anglo-Saxon world 
in the 1930’s was largely due to the fact that it fitted in with the 
widespread spirit of disillusionment with man and all his works. 
It seemed much better to achieve clarity than profundity! The 
result was that in the attempt to make the whole of knowledge 
“scientific,” theology, metaphysics, ethics, and poetry were all 
dismissed as being senseless attempts to systematize what are 
nothing more than “the exclamatory indications of volitional 
attitudes.”* Such is the end product of the-creed of scientific 
individualism. : 

It is no exaggeration to say that the modern liberal democratic 
tradition has rewritten the Shorter Catechism so that now the 

* purpose of man is “‘to be scientific in thought, word and deed.” 

So confident has been the trust in the universal adequacy of the 
scientific approach to the problems of human life that in his 
Folkways, W. G. Sumner could claim that 

The critical habit of thought if usual in a society, will pervade all its mores, 
because it is a way of taking up the problem of life. Men eduéated in it cannot 
be stampeded by stump orators and are never deceived by dithyrambic 
oratory. They are slow to believe.”6 

In no place was this proud faith taught with such conviction as 
in the pre-Nazi German universities. Indeed, as Reinhold 
Schairer points out, the word Wissenschafilichkett had been coined 
to describe “the special form of exaggerated German scientism,” 
which forbade those who entertained it “to think one idea that 
was not strictly academic and scientific; for what could not be 
proved sicentifically and exactly did not exist.”* There is little 
doubt that, psychologically speaking, the success of Hitler in 
getting the support of the students and younger teachers of the 
German universities was largely due to his provision of a theory 
about living which filled the vacuum, created by the older genera- 

7 W. D. Lamont in his contribution to the symposium What Can Philosophy Deter 
miné? Proc. Arist. Soc. Supplementary Vol. XV (London, 1936). 

75 (New York, 1907), p- 623. 
78 In his Frank Aydelotte Lecture, Swarthmore College, October 16, 1941. 


tion of fact-hypnotized professors.7? The tragic fate of that great 
country and, in particular, of its universities shows what happens 
when man seeks'to live by facts alone. To a consideration of the 
meaning of the destruction of the liberal democratic universities 
of Europe by the Nazis and their attempt to substitute the 
“co-ordinated” universities of the totalitarian régime, we must 
now turn. 

77 A young German student, after spending some time in a Soviet university, gives 
an interesting confirmation of this fact. Writing in 1932, he remarks: 
“The Soviet student’s chief advantage over his German fellow lies, I believe, in the 

fact that his time at college has a clear and unmistakable purpose from the very first.’ 

His comrades in the factory or on the kolkhos (Collective-farm, A. S.N.) have sent him 
to college in order that he may acquire certain accomplishments and abilities and turn 
them to the advantage of all and sundry on his return to work.” 

Klaus Mchnert in Youth in’ Soviet Russia (E.T., London, 1933), p. 45. 



“The easy quackery of totalitarian therapy.” 



“We renounce international science. We renounce the international 
republic of learning. We renounce research for its own sake. We teach and 
learn medicine, not to increase the number of microbes, but to keep the 
German people strong and healthy. We teach and learn history, not to say 
how things actually happened but to instruct the German people from the 
past. We teach and learn the sciences, not to discover abstract laws, but to 
sharpen the implements of the German people in competition with other 

Speech at the Centenary of the University of Gottingen, 1937. 

o less an authority on the subject than Herr Hitler has 
N repeatedly declared that the war between the Axis powers 
and thé United Nations is, to quote from one of his speeches, “a 
conflict in which more than the victory of only one country or the 
other is at stake; it is rather a war of two opposing worlds.” The 
German Fihrer further maintains, and again we can agree with 
him, that the outcome of the present struggle will determine the 
destiny of Europe and, indeed, of the whole world for the next 
thousand years. It is conventional to say that a Nazi victory would 
mean a return to the Middle Ages, the implication being that the 
Nazi Weltanschauung, with its defence of collective authority and - 


its rejection of individual freedom, is akin to the set of ideas that‘ 
dominated medieval Europe. Thus Eva Lips movingly writes? of 
Cologne after the Nazis came to power: 

There was no longer a Museum; there was no longer a University. There 
were only institutions of propaganda, brothels of the spirit. There were no 
longer any independent scholars—only tools of the new system. The walls of 
learning parted and I saw the horrors behind them: soldiers and bayonets, 
falsehood and force. We still sat in our own house. But the Siebengebirgsallee 
was no longer Cologne, and Cologne was no longer Germany. An earthquake 
had engulfed our country, and we had sunk back into the Middle Ages. 


That such a view of the matter is an insult to the Middle Ages 
is obvious, if, to take one illustration, we consider the fate of the 
universities in Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe. No one 
would deny that there are superficial resemblances between 
Hitler’s Germany and medieyal Europe; one can compare the 
destruction of all available copies of Tyndale’s translation of the 
Bible with the spectacular bonfire of twenty-five thousand books 
outside the University of Berlin on May 13, 1933. There is, how- 
ever, one plain fact which, when its significance is appreciated, 

_ Tudely destroys once and for all any notion that the Nazi challenge 
to democratic ideas and practice can be regarded as one within 

_ the framework of Western civilization. That fact is the fate of the 

The doors of the medieval university were open to all and 
sundry. The late Professor Friedrich Paulsen, of the University of 
Berlin, furnished an interesting illustration of this in his classic 
volume on The German Universities: Their Character and Historical 
Development. He pointed out® that the first name given to the 
medieval university was studium generale, the word generale being 
used to indicate that the institution sought to be 
a teaching institution for all Christendom, irrespective of national and terri- 

torial boundaries, and also because the degrees granted by it were recognized 
throughout all Christian countries, 

Boundaries of nationality and language disappeared as students 
and teachers alike sought to pursue that truth which transcended 
any local expression of it. Indeed, the word university etymolo- 
gically and according to its use in the Middle Ages, refers to the 

1 What Hitler Did to Us (London, 1938). 

Cf. “‘Nazi Germany stands condemned as guilty of a persecution no less barbarous 
and an intolerance as rigid and as gross as any that figure in the history of the Middle 
Ages.” Sir Richard Gregory in Science in Chains (London, 1941), p. 11. 

2 English translation by Edward D. Perry (New York and London, 1895), p. ar. 


international character of the students who gathered at a univer- 
sity. Foulques. of Deuil graphically expressed in a letter to the 
greatest teacher of the time, Abelard, how students of every land 
flocked to hear his lectures in the school of the Church of Sainte- 
Geneviéve, now the site of the University of Paris: 

Rome sent you her children to educate, and she who once inculcated in her 
hearers the knowledge of all sciences showed, by sending you her pupils, that 
your wisdom was superior to her own. Neither distance; nor the height of the 
mountains, nor the depth of the valleys, nor the roads beset with perils and 
infested with robbers, prevented them from hastening to you. The host of young 
Englishmen feared neither the passage of the sea nor its terrible storms; 
despising all peril, as soon as they heard your name uttered, they hastened to 
you. Distant Brittany sent you its children to teach; the Angevins entrusted you 
with theirs. The Poitevins, the Gascons and the Spaniards, Normandy; 
Flanders, Germany and Swabia incessantly proclaimed and praised the power 
of your name. I say nothing of all the inhabitants of the city of Paris and the 
most distant as well as the nearest parts of France, who were athirst for your 
teaching as if there existed no science that could not be learned from you.3 

This internationalism of learning once finely expressed by the 
universities of pre-Hitlerian Germany is utterly rejected by the 
followers of the Nazi régime. Thus a German physicist of inter- 
national reputation, Philip Lenard, can open the preface to his 
four-volume treatise on physics—a book with the significant.title, 
Deutsche Physik—with the words: F 

“German Physics?” one asks. I might rather have said Aryan Physics or the 
Physics of the Nordic Species of Man, Physics of those who have fathomed the 
depths of Reality, of seekers after Truth, Physics of the very founders of 
Science. But it will be replied to me, “Science is and remains international.” 
It is false. In reality Science, like every other human product, is racial and 
conditioned by blood.+ 

For this prostitution of the word “science,” he received his 
reward: “The Nazi Party Award for Science.” Similarly Ernst 
Krieck, the leading Nazi educational theorist, maintains that, 

No doctor, however well versed in the technical aspects of medical science, is 
a good doctor unless he first realizes and discharges his duties to the political- 
racial philosophy of the new Germany. To make provision for this training is 
the chief purpose of the university.6 

3 Quoted by Edward M. Hulme in The Middle Ages (New York, 1929), p. 690. 

4 Quoted in article, German’ Universities, by A. V. Hill, F. Gowland Hopkins, Fred- 
erick Kenyon, in The University Review, April, 1936, London, p. 4. 

§ Quoted from a speech on Medicine and the Philosophy of National Socialism in the 
Journal of Higher Education, May, 1936 (Columbus, Ohio), p. 28. 


In the light of such expressions of Nazi belief and doctrine it 
no exaggeration to say that in the realm of knowledge, as indeed 
everywhere else, Herr Hitler and his associates wish to put back 
the clock of history, not six hundred years to the Middle Ages, but 
more than two thousand six hundred years to the days of tribal 
barbarism. Since the eighth century B.c. the world has been 
taught by a succession. of scholars and prophets as diverse as 
Confucius in China, Gautama Buddha in India, Amos in Pales- 
tine, Socrates in Greece and Seneca in Rome that mankind is a 
unity. This teaching expressed itself in Stoicism as the doctrine of 

was never questioned. However, just as German Nazism, like 
Italian Fascism, deliberately attempts to erect a tribal ethic in the 
sphere-of morals, so in the sphere of learning it seeks to rewrite 

itself is rejected as undesirable. At no time in European civiliza- 
tion has any ruling group ever dared to take up such a position. 
Even the Bolsheviks’ rejection—following Marx and Engels—of 

“bourgeois” science is not a rejection of the liberal ideal. They are 
"simply seeking to correct the failure of what they call “capitalist” 
science to be faithful to its own ideal; that failure they go on to say 
is inevitable in anything but a classless society. : 

Strange though it may sound, Nazism has had to attack 
Marxism, liberalism, pacifism and Roman Catholicism for pre- 
cisely the same reason. Each of these philosophies, in spite of all 
their profound differences, regards truth as trans-national and, 
therefore, each takes its stand on an international ideal. However, 
for the Nazi, truth derives its significance from the master race, 
the Herrenvolk. The sole criterion of the truth of an idea is whether 
it will serve the German Tace, or rather the Nazi Party, in 
its unquenchable and avid thirst for power and yet more 
power, ; 

It is true that the Nazis did not introduce into the world the 
modern concept of the sovereign state as the social institution which 
has the power to give orders to all within its jurisdiction and to 

receive orders from none. But Germany is the only nation in the 


European tradition that has rigorously worked out the theory of 

_ the sovereign state and acted on it. Other nations, like France, 
Britain, and the United States, have never cut completely loose 
from the medieval notion that there is a Respublica Christiana 
according to which the positive law of a nation is subject to 
natural law, and natural law is subject to divine law, and there- 
fore the law itself cannot be the sole criterion of its own justice. 
But to the modern Nazi such an idea is absurd, for the Fiihrer’s 
will is law, and, contrary to the traditions represented by a 
brilliant line of Anglo-Saxon theorists from John Milton through 
John Locke and Thomas Paine to the makers of the American 
Constitution, the Government is free to do as it pleases since 
human beings are not “endowed by their Creator with certain 
inalienable rights.” 

Similarly the truth of any set of ideas does not lie, according to 
the Nazi view, in correspondence with objective fact but in its 
accord with the mind of the Fuhrer. Once that has been taken as 
the final authority the rationalism of the European tradition must 
be rejected and “instinct,” “soil,” and “blood” must be taken as 
guide; the peculiar function of the Fuhrer being to interpret these 
racial instincts in accordance with the political necessities of the 
Nazi régime. That is why reason, free discussion and intellectual © 
integrity alike are rejected by the Nazis since they each presuppose 
that truth, being something more than the ideas contained within 
one or more human heads, can be best appropriated by a process 
of open debate where idea can clash with idea. 

A Harvard sociologist, E. Y. Hartshorne, in his book, The 
German Universities and National Socialism,’ showed how, even prior 
to the present war, the Nazi “total” revolution had affected the 
university, like every other institution, in every aspect of its life. 
In the field of administration the adoption of the Leadership 
Principle (Fuhrerprinzip) means the complete elimination of the 
governing power of both professors and students. Instead, they are 
organized respectively into a “‘teaching-corps” and a “student- 
corps,” each with a “‘leader-spokesman,” and they in their turn 
are directly responsible to the Rector as “the Fuhrer of the 
University.” None of these officials is elected but each is appointed 
by the “Minister of Education.” Hartshorne laconically summed 
up the effect of economic reform, and in particular of “Labour 
Service,’’ as follows: 

8 Cambridge, Mass., 1937- 

Like very many of the Nazi reforms, it is only in part intended as a measure 
for the relief of unemployment; it serves in addition as excellent preparation 
for military service, for weeding out the weak of body and for training the 
strong in physique and “character”; as an opportunity for the propagandists 
to exert their influence on youths with unsophisticated minds and tired bodies; 
and, finally, as an effective introduction to higher study, well calculated to 
prepare the university beginners to accept the new educational ideals. 

As early as March, 1935, the Nazis tied the universities to their 
military programme, and by official proclamation the universities 
were instructed to play their part in inculcating the ideal of 
“defence-mindedness” (Wehrhaftigkeit) while the whole curriculum 
was re-organized so that “defence-science” (Wehrwissenschaft) 
achieved a dominating influence on all other studies. 

As a description of the Nazi idea of a university there is little to 
be added ‘to the account of the first university to be founded by 
the National Socialists (at Posen, in German occupied Poland) as 
given in the Frankfurter Zeitung. 

In view of the conditions in the east and the tasks to be fulfilled there, a 
number of professorial chairs of a quite new kind will be set up, especially in 
the faculty of philosophy. Folk-political questions and folk questions in general 
will be stressed. The new university will have, besides a chair of German pre- 

history and German ethnology, a special chair of folk doctrine. Another new 
feature is the institution of a chair for the study of the folk and country of the 

Soviet Union, . . . Posen will be the first university to have a chair of race 
politics in place of the chair of race hygiene included elsewhere in the faculty 
of medicine. . . . An almost revolutionary innovation is the institution of a chair 

of spiritual history. This is expected to have a great influence in a National 
Socialist direction, and so it will be filled by a representative of the party 
prominent in this field. The university will have no theological faculty. 

This university is in German-occupied Poland but no Poles will 
be admitted; on the contrary all Polish university graduates have 
had to surrender their diplomas to the Nazis for destruction in 
order to insure that in the future only Germans will be able to 
apply for posts requiring a university education. 

As one would expect, this Nazi concept of the place and func- 
tion of a university has been worked out with all the thoroughness 
typical of the German mind in countries that have been con- 
quered by the Nazi armies. Perhaps nowhere else has the Nazi 
rejection of the European tradition in respect to learning been 
more clearly exhibited than in the Nazi treatment of the univer- 
sities of Poland and Czechoslovakia. A German professor in the 
eighteenth century, Immanuel Kant, was called the “conscience 


of Europe.” How he must turn in his grave as he sees, in the 
universities of Nazi-dominated Europe, the complete rejection of 
his classic sentence, “Be a person and treat others as persons.” The 
Nazis believe, in the words of Hitler, that “the individual has no 
rights apart from his function as part of the State.” Poles and 
Czechs are not viewed as individuals, even with this limitation, 
and hence they have no rights. 

The Governor-General of occupied Poland, Frank, in an 
address to the German Nazi Party at Cracow on August 15, 1940, 
informed his hearers that ‘‘the Government-General is not to be 
regarded as occupied territory; it is to form an integral part of 
the area under the rule of Greater Germany. No one will be able 
to find any employment here who is not a most ruthless and a most 
determined National Socialist.’ In a subsequent address to. 
assembled German law officers in the same city Frank informed 
his hearers that Poles brought before the courts were to be treated 
as if “they were colonial Negroes.” 

Poland’s most famous university, Jagiellonski University at 
Cracow, was the first to suffer. Founded in 1364, no university in _ 
Europe has had a more honoured history. It was the Alma Mater 
of Copernicus, and its scholars took a distinguished part in the 
debates at the Council of Constance. The entire teaching staff of 
one hundred and eighty persons were sent by the Nazis to concen- 
tration camps. The procedure adopted was characteristically 
Nazi in its brutality and efficiency. These scholars were summoned 
to a lecture on National Socialism. When they arrived they were 
informed that they were incapable of understanding the basis of 
National Socialism except within the context of a prison camp. 
Many of these venerable professors, some of them with world-wide 
reputations, such as the economist Adam Krzyzanowski, were in- 
capable of the physical demands and hardships of prison life and 
succumbed. Eighteen of them died in the Oranienburg Camp; 
fifty were transferred to Dachau to do heavy stone-breaking work 
and eventually, as men broken in body and spirit, the rest were: 
allowed to return home, at least four of them to die. 

The Universities of Warsaw, Lublin and Poznan have suffered 
the same fate. Professor Bronislaw Dembinski of the University of 
Poznan and the holder of a greatly prized honorary doctorate of 
Oxford University, has died in a concentration camp, while Pro- 
fessor Loth, the most distinguished Polish anatomist, has been 


and Professor C. Biolobrzeski, a theoretical physicist, are among 
those who, it is definitely known, have been murdered. To prevent 
any possible revival of Polish science, laboratories such as the 
Institution of Experimental Physics in the University of Warsaw 
have been completely demolished, and their scientific apparatus 
taken to the German Reich. . 

The treatment of the Czech universities and other institutions of 
higher learning has been characterized by the same cruel effici- 
ency. Prague University, which was established in 1348, thirty- 
seven years before the first German university—Heidelberg7—was : 
founded, has been closed. Its Health Institute, erected by the 
Rockefeller Fund at a cost of approximately ten million dollars, 
has been appropriated for Nazi purposes. Students have been 
imprisoned, tortured and murdered, professors taken away from 
their homes, libraries and laboratories, to concentration camps, 
and all intellectual contact with other countries has been pro- 
hibited. As in Poland libraries and museums have been robbed 
and priceless documents have been destroyed—for, argue the’ 
Nazis, there must be nothing to remind the Czechs and the Poles 
of their own independent cultural life. 

The tragedy for all who care about human nature is that the 
crimes and cruelties committed against culture and learning are 
not the arbitrary actions of ill-controlled youths but they are done 
under the orders, to use the graphic language of R. H. Tawney, 
“of baldheaded men in spectacles, sitting well out of danger in 
comfortable offices.”* These orders are the outcome of calculated 
plans deliberately worked out within the highest circles of the 
Nazi hierarchy, and in accordance with the basic doctrines of the 
Nazi movement. The Czechs, like the Poles, on the Nazi theory, 
are fit only to be hewers of wood and drawers of water and, 
therefore, they do not need universities and all for which univer 
sities have stood in the history of Europe since the founding of the 
Universities of Paris and Bologna in the twelfth century. . 

That this policy of the suppression of learning and culture in 
Czechoslovakia and'Poland is part of a carefully worked-out plan 
is evident from the fact that the universities of Holland and Den- 
mark have not been subject to the same ruthless treatment. The 
Nazis believe that education, like everything else, should be sub- - 
lack of pole! contralto ence Of evant Ca cing tothe 

to either Paris or Bologna. 
5 Ina letter to the New York Times, July 21, 1940. 


ordinated to political necessity and hence their treatment of 
educational institutions differs in different countries in accordance 
with whether a country in the New Order is to be ruthlessly 
“Germanized’’—this is true of Czechoslovakia and Poland—or 
whether, like Holland, Belgium, and Denmark, they are to be 
used by the Nazis as a showpiece. Thus, in Belgium, a German 
professor has been appointed as commissioner with power over the 
Rector of Brussels University and a scheme of interchange of pro- 
fessors has been adopted whereby Belgian culture can be mildly 

The Nazi policy toward Holland has been accommodating. The 
troops were instructed to behave politely and to seek the friendly 
co-operation of the people. But in the universities, as elsewhere, 
the proud spirit of the Dutch with their love of intellectual freedom 
soon forcibly expressed itself. The Nazis, on taking over the 
University of Leyden, dismissed as a Jew its famous and popular 
professor of law, Edouard Maurits Meyers. One of his colleagues, 
Rudolf Pabus Cleveringa, was appointed to take Meyers’ class. 
Cleveringa took the opportunity to assail the Nazis in no unmis- ~ 
takable terms and boldly stated that they had no authority other 
than that of superior force. His final thrust was to laud Meyers as “‘a 
noble and true son” of the Dutch nation. Professor Cleveringa was 
arrested and sent to a concentration camp. This action led to 
students’ parades by way of protest and mass strikes were organ- 
ized against the application of anti-Jewish regulations to the 
universities. The result was that Leyden University and the 
Technical Institute at Delft were both closed. 

However divergent the policies may appear on the surface, the 
picture they present is perfectly clear. Whether the Nazis adopt 
hypocritically a policy of conciliation or whether they pursue a 
policy of naked brutality, the aim is the same—the subordination 
of all learning to the demands of the Germanic “Master race.” 
Those who attempt to compare the German Fithrer with Napo- 
leon might contrast the fate of Polish or Czech or Dutch learning 
at the hands of the Nazis with that resulting from the more 
civilized attitude of belligerent governments in former centuries 
toward the scholars among their foes. Even the cruel Duke of Alba 
took measures to defend the learned men of the towns in the 
Netherlands against which he was directing his armies, while in a 
later century French ships of war were instructed that if they came 
hesenee alg Detach acnlncer Mantain Cank they were to cive to him 


i all the help he needed. In the midst of the war with N apoleon, Sir 
, Humphry Davy, the famous chemist and inventor of the miners’ 
safety lamp, was awarded a prize for his contributions to science by 
the Institute of France, while the Convention had previously sent 
a deputation to England urging the adoption of the metric 

The Nazi attitude toward learning is characterized neither by 
respect for knowledge nor by mercy for the aged. Moreover, we can~ 
not take the Nazis seriously when, boldly rejecting mercy, they lay 
claim to the more masculine virtues of pre-Christian Europe. The - 
Roman armies in 212 8.c. were instructed by their generals not to 
harm Archimedes and his family when Syracuse was attacked. As 
the old story relates, Archimedes, as he was drawing geometrical 
figures on the sarid, was unfortunately killed by a soldier when he 
refused to answer the soldier’s questions. The Roman Government 
gave the famous mathematician a public funeral and granted a 
pension to his children. 

The Nazis consider such a policy to be a sign of weakness and 
unworthy of “Nordic” man, and armed with all the strength of 
modern technical invention, they desire to return to the tribal 
~ wars of extermination. Their treatment of the universities of their 

own country as well as the rest of Europe, is simply another illus- 

tration, to use Reinhold Niebuhr’s aphorism, of their “synthetic 

Many attempts, with varying degrees of success and failure, 
have been made to analyse the essence of Nazism. The measure of 
their success depends on their degree of recognition that Nazism 
is both a remedy for the disease of a dying capitalist civilization 
and also an aggravation of that disease. This state of affairs is 
revealed in everything that the Nazis have done in each realm of 
Western culture: politics, economics, education, family life and 
religion: This means ‘that what we see in Nazi Germany is one 
possible end product of our liberal democratic society. There, but 
for the grace of God, goes the whole of Western civilization. 

A recent social survey, financed by the Carnegie Corporation 
and the Rockefeller Foundation, is devoted to a study of Holly- * 
wood. The author of its report points out in his preface that there 
is no profound difference between Hollywood and the rest of the 
American nation. Indeed, he remarks: “Hollywood is an index of 
our society,” for “the aberrations of our culture are more vivid, 

(a ere a 


Bedford or Palo Alto. . . . A study of Hollywood casts the profile 
of American society into sharper relief.” é 

If we wish to see what American society és, as through a micro- 
scope, then we can look at Hollywood. If we would see what our 
society as a whole might become then we must look at the totali- 
tarian countries. 

Nazism, like Bolshevism, bases itself upon a clear recognition 
that we are in the midst of a complete revolution in man’s under- 
standing of his nature, of his place in society, and of his status in 
the universe. Hitler realized that the Western world faced a crisis, 
not only in its allegiance to political democracy, national self- 
determination, and laissez-faire economics, but at a deeper level. 
It faced a crisis in its faith. It is difficult for the typical Anglo- 
Saxon to understand the depths of hopelessness which, in the late 
twenties and early thirties of the present century, darkened the 
souls of millions of people of all classes in Central Europe. Whether 
American or British, the typical Anglo-Saxon has never really 
known what scepticism means for he has always been able to 
believe in something as ultimate even if it has only been scientific : 
method or his nation’s constitution. The story of Carlyle and 
Margaret Fuller, the young lady who informed him that she had 
decided to accept the universe, is typically Anglo-Saxon. Carlyle’s 
reply: “By gad, you’d better,” like the young lady’s original 
affirmation, carried with it no doubt whatever that the universe 
would accept them both. Yet that it might not, was precisely the 
terrible fear that perplexed millions of Europeans. Hitler knew, 
moreover, how to take advantage of it. He knew that a completely 
disillusioned people is in the mood to believe in almost anything, 
if only it is presented with conviction and force. To use his own 
words from his book, Mein Kampf: 

I knew what these people felt; it was the longing for a new movement that 
would be something more than a party it the ordinary sense. 

To anyone who reads the pages of Mein Kampf, Hitler makes 
quite clear the steps whereby he arrived at his strategy and his 
- conclusions. One thing cannot be too much stressed. It is that, 
although Nazism came into being largely as the antithesis to Com- 
munism, it was not, as so many Anglo-Saxons, whether politically 
left or right, vainly imagined, a conservative antithesis; on the 


contrary, it was an equally revolutionary alternative. It was a 

daringly new combination of Nationalism and Socialism, worked 

out by a demonic genius who had the insight to interpret his 

‘ immediate experience of the under-world of Vienna as a guide to 
the understanding of both the insufficiency of international’ 
Marxism as an answer to the immediate needs of the urbanized 
proletariat and the inadequacy of liberal rationalism as an answer 
to the thwarted lives of the lower middle classes. 

Once Hitler had political power, he set out to accomplish his 
total revolution, no single feature of which can be understood 
except in relation to the whole. 

In the sphere of economics the Nazis saw with perfect clarity 
that the increasing application of scientific discoveries and 
technical inventions to modern industry could only have one end 
and that was the emergence of a collectivized economy. To them 
the only questions—as, indeed, they are to anybody in any 
country who thinks at all about the subject—were: “Who shall 
control that economy?” and “For what purpose?” The Nazis saw 
that modern industrialized capitalism has becomé something 
quite other than the consumers’ democracy of early free capital- 
ism. The early protagonists for capitalism had hoped that per- 
sonal freedom in the disposal of his labour on the part of any 
worker might, in the long run, neutralize those inequalities result- 
ing from the maldistribution of property which had been inherited 
from feudalism, and might thus eventually secure social stability 
and social justice. This was the highest flight of capitalist optimism, 
It was based on an erroneous conception of the implications of the 
technical aspects of industry and in particular on the false sup- 
position that labour would more and more become the decisive 
factor in production. History has shown that the revolutionary 
effect of technical changes within industry, instead of materializ- 
ing these Utopian hopes, has in fact actualized and aggravated the . 
latent possibility which lurked in this inequalitarian legacy from 
feudalism. , 

_ , The First World War did not check in Germany, any more than 
it did in the United States or Great Britain, the tendency for a 
neo-feudalistic attitude of protectionism to spread throughout the 
whole of capitalist economy. On the contrary, it quickened it up 
so that capitalism used all the means of a commercial and tech- 
nical civilization to restrict competition by introducing tariffs, 
quotas, and trade barriers of a multitudinous variety. The 


antagonism between, on the one hand, the expansionist tendencies 
of the application of scientific discoveries to production and 
modern methods of organizing and advertising to distribution and, 
on the other hand, the protectionist tendencies of invested capital, 
brought to an end the process of democratic equalization and 
international integration that had begun in the nineteenth 

That was not all. While the technical development of industry 
forced it toward greater and still greater measures of internation- 
alization—witness the growth of the cartels—the political develop- 
ment of Europe, under the influence of the notion that states 
should coincide with nations, led to the increasing number of 
national frontiers and therefore customs barriers. Leaving out 
Russia, there were sixteen sovereign states in Europe in 1875. By 
1914 there were twenty-two and. the peace-makers at Versailles, 
acting on Woodrow Wilson’s declaration that “every people has 
a right to choose the sovereignty under which it shall live,” had 
created seven more. Thereby Europe became a patchwork of 
political systems too jealous to co-operate and too weak to stand 
alone against Hitler’s aggression. His solution to this madness was 
his “New Order” of economic autarky, many features of which, 
such as the abolition of the gold standard and the introduction of 
a multiple clearing system for Europe, were and are admirable.1° * 
However, this “New Order” is % exist solely for the benefit of 
Germany and Nazi-minded members of the “Nordic Race.” Its 
basic principle, to use the words of the Nazi Minister of Labour, 
Dr. Ley,?# is that ‘‘a lower race needs less food, less clothes, and 
less culture than a higher race,” an economic principle which in 
practice means that a German, for example, gets at least twice as 
much food as a Pole. 

Such is Hitler’s solution to the politico-economic aspects of 
Europe’s—and_ subsequently the world’s—problem. Hermann 
Rauschning has giveni? what he claims is the Nazi leader’s own 
description of the specifically political aspect of his ‘““New Order.” 

In the centre I shall place the steely core of a Greater Germany welded into 
an indissoluble unity. Then Austria, Bohemia, and Moravia, western Poland. 
A block of one hundred million, indestructible, without a flaw, without an 
alien element, the firm foundation of our power. Then an Eastern alliance: 
Poland, the Baltic states, Hungary, the Balkan states, the Ukraine, the Volga 

10 See Germany’s New Order by Duncan Wilson (Oxford, 1941), p. 10. 
11 Quoted. Jbid., p. 22. 

basin, Georgia. An alliance, but not of equal partners; it will be an alliance of 
vassal states, with no army, no separate policy, no separate economy. I have 
no intention of making concessions on sentimental grounds, such as re-establish- 
ing Hungary, for example, I make no distinction between friends and enemies, 
The day of small states is past, in the west as weil. I shall have a Western 
Union too, of Holland, Flanders, Northern F; rance, and a Northern Union of 
Denmark, Sweden and Norway. 

These economic and political implications of the Nazi creed 

have been worked out with such skilful adaptation to the circum- 
’ stances of the moment that many have been led to believe that 

the Nazis are entirely opportunist and that their creed is one of 
complete intellectual and moral nihilism; in other words, that it 
is not a creed at all. Rauschning himself has enunciated such a 
view in his book, Germany’ s Revolution of Destruction.18 One can only 
declare that Rauschning in his day of disillusionment with Hitler 
is no more accurate in his analysis of the nature of what a more 
profound writer, Aurel Kolnai, calls The War against the West,\. 
than he was in the days when he could regard the Nazi Fuhrer as‘ 
the embodiment of his hopes. The aim of the Nazi crusade is not. 
simply conquest for the sake of power and glory but for the pro- 
pagation and creation through conquest of an entirely new type 
of civilization resting on a complete view of man’s nature and 
destiny in the world. 

The Nazi movement, in short, is a movement with a mission. 
As the Spanish philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, wrote with 
prophetic insight three years before Hitler came to power: 

All previous civilizations have died through the insufficiency of their under- 
lying principles. That of Europe is beginning to suécumb for the opposite 
reason. In Greece and Rome it was not man that failed, but principles. The 
Roman Empire comes to an end for lack of technique. When it reached a high 
level of population, and this vast community demanded the solution of certain 
material problems which technique only could furnish, the ancient world 
started on a process of involution, retrogression, and decay. But to-day it is 
man who is the failure, because he is unable to keep pace with the progress of 
his own civilization.15 

Basic to the whole of Nazi theory and practice is a clear and 
definite view of man. It is more than a “biological” view of man 
or a “psychological” view of. man, or a “sociological” view of man, 
or the whole gamut of “logical” views-of man taken together. It 

18 London, 1939. 1 London, 1938. 

38 Pp. 99~r100 of the English translation (The Revolt of the Masses, London, 1932) of 
La Rebslion de las Masae (MaaAria spl} of Ls ‘> 


is a totalitarian view of man which in effect means that (in the 
true sense of that much-abused term) it is a spiritual view of man 
since it is that which conditions but is not conditioned by the 
empirical knowledge of man given in the separate sciences. It 
colours therefore all the Nazi’s ideas, feelings and actions. 

On this spiritual plane alone can be discerned the real nature 
of the Nazi claim. As in other countries, the Fascist appeal is a 
protest against the self-sufficient individualism of our bourgeois 
culture, and it.asks young men and women “‘to give, to serve, to 
devote themselves, to make sacrifices. In return, it offers—especi- 
ally to those who feel isolated and bewildered (and who doesn’t?) 
—unity and strength.” 16 

Nowhere is this truth revealed more clearly than in the realm of ~ 
education. Indeed, the Nazi makes, and, as we shall see in the 

_next chapter, so does the Marxist, very much the same criticisms 
of liberal scientific individualism that have been urged in the 
previous chapter. It is when we consider the positive solution and 
the kind of university which results that we part company. These ; 
criticisms can be epitomized as follows: As against the liberal- 
scientific-individualistic Weltanschauung the Nazi rightly claims 

(a) Knowledge is not presuppositionless. 

(b) Knowledge serves a purpose other than itself. 

(c) Knowledge is not ultimately objective but conditioned. 
(d) Knowledge in the last resort is not atomic but is a unity. 

(a) The Nazi is right when he remarks with Max Planck:17 

It is said that science has no pre-conceived ideas: there is no saying that has 
been more thoroughly or more disastrously misunderstood. 

He is right when, with Herr Rust, the Minister for Education in 
the Reich, he goes on to say that he ‘ 
has recognized the fact that to construct a system of knowledge without pre- 

suppositions and without certain value judgments as its foundation is totally 

However, the Nazi is wrong and profoundly wrong when he 
identifies the presuppositions of knowledge’ with the contents of 
Hitler’s head and defends such a fantastic view by the equally 

16 Why They Join the Fascists? by Lionel Birch (London, 1937), P- 11- 

17 Philosophy of Physics (E.T., London, 1936), p. 112. 
uw Quoted by Sir Richard Gregory in Science in Chains (Londod, 1941), Pe 15- 


fantastic contention that Hitler is the true interpreter of the 
German soul. 

(b) The Nazi is right when he maintains that knowledge must 
and does serve some purpose greater than itself. He is right, when, 
with Hitler, he says: 

The simple question that precedes every scientific activity is: who is it (who) 
wants to know something, who is it (who) wants to find out how he stands in 
the world around him?1° . 

He is right when he adds with Theodor Wilhelm:*¢ 

Not mere knowledge but the ability to decide—the very fact that I make up 
my mind to do this and not that is the surest path to truth, the most reliable 
guide to the nature of things. 

He is right when, with Ernst Krieck, he can 

grant the principle of objectivity in scientific research provided it represents 
real sincerity, When, however, objectivity is ‘‘a pretension to absolutism of 
acientific perception” and “existence apart from living foundations” then it 
must be repudiated as representing the “arrogance of a super human being.’"21 

The Nazi is certainly right in pointing out that the worship of 
objective knowledge has led the Western mind into such a plight 
that, to use the graphic words of Werner Sombart: 

It is not the contemplation of the thing that lures men on, not the instinctive 
emotional comprehension of reality that they seek; nor is it the joy of creation or 
its effect that is dear to their heart. What is wanted is scientific “knowledge”; 
that is, an elaborated system of ideas. It is no longer the world and mankind 
that exercises the charm, but the “theory” of the origin of the world and of 
men; not the flowers but botany, not the animals but zoology, not the human 
soul but psychology—these are the allurements.2? 

But the Nazi is wrong, profoundly wrong, in identifying the end 
of knowledge with the prestige of a particular racial group and the: 

1® Quoted by Rauschning, Hitler Speaks (London, 1939). 

% Quoted (p. 212) by G. F. Kneller in The Educational Philosophy of National Socialism’ 
(New Haven, 1941) from Internationale Reitschrift fir Erziehung, Vol. 5 (1935), p. 126. 

21 Quoted by Kneller, doc. cit., p. 222, and see the whole of this section. 

So deeply has the cult of objectivity. infected Anglo-Saxon thought that a shrewd 
thinker like Kneller can cite this and other quotations expressing the Nazi rejection of 
objectivity and yet at the same time claim in the preface of his admirable book that: 
“This investigation is intended to fill a gap in liberalistic, objective literature on 
National Socialist educational philosophy... . It is an attempt to present the situation 
as it is, seen in its own light and from its own point of view. . . . There is no other 
purpose than to present the facts of the case” (p. 2). But to give a “‘liberalistic, objec- 
tive” account of Nazism cannot be, in the very nature of the case, an attempt “to 
present the situation seen in its own light and from its own point of view.” 

82 P. 36 of the English translation (A New Social Philosophy, Princeton, 1937) of his 


power of its governing oligarchy?* as when with Sombart he can 
continue and say: . 
For us there is only one aim—Germany. For the sake of Germany’s greatness, 

power and glory, we will gladly sacrifice every “theory” and every “principle,” 
whether it bears a liberal or any other stamp. 

The Nazi is equally wrong when with Krieck he can answer the 
question, “What is the purpose of university education?” by 
replying “It is . ... the heroic science of the soldier, the militant 
and fighting science.”’** : 

The Nazi is right in perceiving that the practical counterpart 
to the denial of the ultimate objectivity of all knowledge is that 
the pniversity cannot be “‘neutra *? but that it must and, in fact, 
does set out to produce a type, be that type the scholar-saint of 
the medieval university, the balanced sage of the Renaissance 
tradition, the gentleman-Whig of seventeenth-century England or 
the man‘of affairs of the contemporary American university. But 
he is wrong, profoundly wrong, when he allows society to go 
beyond its rightful claim to perpetuate itself in the type to the 
point where it refuses to allow the individual to exercise his per- 

sonal freedom by growing beyond the type to the stage where he 

can criticize the tradition that has produced him. 

(c) The Nazi is right in contending that all human knowledge 
js conditioned by non-rational factors such as home, school, nation, 
race and the like. A writer, as little prone to a Fascist 
J. D. Bernal, has shown that this contention is aptly illustrated by 
the national character of English science since the seventeenth, 
century :?¢ : 

23 Contrary to what is taught so often in liberal democratic countries by press. , 
pulpit and politicians, the Nazi movement has not made the State the end of ali] 
existence. Hitler has clearly expressed the gist of the matter on numerous occasion’s; 
in particular note his speech clebrating the fourth anniversary of his advent to powcr 
(January 30, 1937)—“the starting point of National Socialist teaching is not the sta‘te 
va a ‘people’ (Volk). The state is not an end but a means; the end is the ‘peopl, © 


24 [bid., p. 152. A tragic symbol of this prostitution of the great tradition of Gerinan 
scholarship in its oldest university, Heidelberg, is recorded by Eva Lips in }Véat 
Hitler Did to Us (London, 1938): oe 

«© the Living Spirit,’ says the dedication carved above the door of the University . 
building, a gift of former Ambassador Schurman. At that time the statue of Palas 
Athene still kept watch over the entrance gate. In January of 1936, however, :he 
daughter of Zeus was removed, and a Nazi eagle enthroned im her place as guard/an 

angel of the house of learning. “To the German Spirit,’ says the new dedication.” 

26 Quoted from L’Ecole Hitlerienne et PEtranger, 1937, by J. D. Bernal in The Soial 
Function of Science (London, 1939), p. 218. 

26 Ibid., p. 197+ 


It is predominantly, as contrasted with German or French science, prac- 
tical and analogical. . . . . 

What has given such enormous success to English science is largely just this 
practical predilection and robust common sense. Nature, at any rate, up till 
very recently, generally turned out to operate at least as simply as a human 
workman, and those who attributed to it mysteries and subtleties merely 
tangled themselves in their own ingenuity. A defect of the English is their almost 
complete lack of systematic thinking. Science to them consists of a number of 
successful raids into the unknown. It presents no coherent picture; theory is 
looked on suspiciously and speculation not encouraged. These disadvantages 
are more apparent now than they were in the last century. 

But the Nazi is wrong, profoundly wrong, when he gives up the 
attempt to achieve a truth that is more than British truth or 
German truth or proletarian truth or bourgeois truth and rests 
self-satisfied in his Nordic nonsense. I am not referring to Nazi 
ignoramuses, but to scholars with an international reputation to 
lose. Werner Sombart, for example, has perpetrated the following 
confused medley of biological, psychological and sociological 

The psycho-physical make-up of a person essentially determines his ability. 
It determines whether he thinks clearly or confusedly, whether he is equipped 
with the power of insight or the power of abstraction, whether or not he possesses 
a talent for form, and so forth. For example, other things being equal, the sharp 
Jewish intelligence of a Ricardo or a Marx would naturally produce a different 
economics from that produced by the “deep, German obscurity” (as Fichte 
called it) of an Adam Muller or a Knies or a Schmoller.37 

Sombart’s remarks, however, are the embodiment of intellectual 
sanity when compared with the monstrosities of Johannes Stark— 
again it is no ignoramus but the President of the Physikalisch- 
Technischen Reichanstalt at Berlin and an experimental physicist , 

‘whose name will go down to posterity as the discoverer of the 

“Stark Effect,” for which in 1919 he received the Nobel Prize for 
Physics. In a famous letter to Nature, the world’s leading scientific 

‘journal, he attacked Jewish physicists in the following deplorable 


When in what follows I speak of two principal types of mentality in physics, 
my observations are founded on experience . . . 
The pragmatic spirit, from which have sprung the creations of successful 

27 In his contribution to a testimonial volume in honour of the sixtieth birthday of 
Dr. Hjalmar Schacht. See p. 19 of the English translation, Weltanschauung, Science and 

eae ee re 


discoveries both past and present, is directed towards reality, its aim is to 
ascertain the laws governing already known phenomena and to discover new 
phenomena and bodies as yet unknown. .. . 

The physicist of the dogmatic school operates in quite a different manner in 
the field of physics, he starts out from ideas that have arisen primarily in his 
own brain, or from arbitrary definitions of relations between symbols to which 
general and so also physical significance can be ascribed. By logical and 
mathematical operations he combines them and so derives results in the form 
of mathematical formule. . . . 

The relativistic theories of Einstein, which are based on an arbitrary defini- 
tion of space and time co-ordinates or their differentials, constitute an equally 
obvious example of the product of the dogmatic spirit. Another example of 
this kind is the wave-mechanical theory of Schrédinger. By an amazing feat of 
physico-mathematical acrobatics he obtains as a final result first a differential 
equation. He then asks what sort of physical significance the function that 
occurs in his equation may have, and for this he makes.the suggestion according 
to which the electron is arbitrarily smeared in a large spatial region 
round about the atom. In characteristic fashion, however, other dogmatic 
physicists (Born, Jordan, Heisenberg, Sommerfeld) give to the Schrédinger 
function another dogmatic significance, contrary to fundamental laws of 
experience. They make the electron dance round the atom in an irregular 
manner and allow it to act externally as though it were simultaneously present. 
at every point round the atom with a charge corresponding to the statistical 
duration of its sojourn at each point. ... 

T have taken the field against the dogmatic spirit in Germany because I have 
been able to observe repeatedly its crippling and damaging effect on the 
development of physical research in this country. In this conflict I have also 
directed my efforts against the damaging influence of Jews in German science, 
because I regard them as the chief exponents and propagandists of the dog- 
matic spirit. x 

This reference brings me to the national aspect of the mental outlook of 
men of science in research. It can be adduced from the history of science that 
the founders of research in physics, and the great discoverers from Galileo and 
Newton to the physical pioneers of our own time, were almost exclusively 
Aryans, predominantly of the Nordic race. From this we may conclude that 
-the predisposition towards pragmatic thinking occurs most frequently in men 
of the Nordic race. If we examine the-originators, representatives and propa- 
gandists of modern dogmatic theories, we find amongst them a preponderance 
‘of men of Jewish descent. If we remember in addition that Jews played a 
decisive part in the foundation of theological dogmatism and that the authors 
and propagandists of Marxism and communistic dogmas are for the most part 
Jews, we must establish and recognize the fact that the natural inclination to 
dogmatic thought appears with especial frequency in people of Jewish 

_ 28 Nature, Vol. 141, pp. 770-2. Julian Huxley has made the shrewd suggestion that 
since, ¢.g., a quarter of the German Nobel Prize-winners have been Jews, whereas 
Jews make up only 1 per cent. of the pre-Nazi German population, we have in Stark’s 
‘omitted er stensce of tle Cineman edesan of Seicttta. (San co. tht. Aree be 


(d) The Nazi is right in his protest against the chaos of liberal 
atomism whereby the subjects of the university curriculum are 
separated from each other into neat departments of specialized 
knowledge as completely as walls separate classrooms. He is right 
moreover, in seeking to achieve a synthesis of the different 
specialisms in terms that give a prominent place to political factors 
and concepts by showing the political implications of the different 
realms of specialized knowledge.29 

But the Nazi is wrong, profoundly wrong, in seeking to unify all 
realms of knowledge by making them subject to political cate- 
gories and purposes and by creating a new scholasticism which 
puts the whole of knowledge into a totalitarian straight-jacket. 
Thus, in the sphere of educational theory, Ministerialrat Dr. 
Haupt has to explain certain similarities which he claims to find 
‘between Nazi educational forms and ideals and “the educational 
systems of the ancient Greeks and of the modern Anglo-Saxon 
peoples.” To do this, he makes the astounding assertion that’ 

These similarities National Socialism traces back to those Nordic racial 
elements which are the common inheritance of these peoples and which have 
80 largely determined their history. It is merely a particular example of a 
universal law of nature; that similar or kindred characteristics must evolve 
similar or kindred forms.8¢ ‘ 

Similarly, biochemistry is brought into the net when, to prove 
that the consumption of pork accounts for the alleged superiority 
of the Aryan “race,” R. Walther Darre publishes a volume 
solemnly entitled, Das Schwein als Kriterium fiir nordische Volker und 
Semiten, The history of religion is not immune and so we get a 
pretentious volume, Geschichte auf rassicher Grundlage, by Johann. 
von Leers, a fantastic correlation of meteorology, ethnic origins and 
the emergence of monotheism. To give his own words: 

Not a tribal idol like Jahweh-Jehovah, not a “Revelation” which nobody 
can verify, but a thoughtful insight of fisherfolk, peasants and seafarers into the 
work of God in this world, was the first realisation of the Divine, the original 
Nordic Monotheism, thousands of years before a people of Israel ever existed. 

This Weltanschaung could only have come into existence where the change 
between light and darkness, between the long winter night and the brightness 

28 T am much indebted to Professor Paul Tillich for the clarity with which he has 
straightened out for me the relation between knowledge, the university and politics. 
See his address to the Teachers’ Union of New York University, Has Higher Education 
an Obligation to Work for Democracy? published in Radical Religion (New York), Vol. 5, 
p. 12, 


of the sun was especially vivid, that is, in the far North. It is from this area 
that these peoples must have been scattered one after another.3t 

It is wellnigh impossible for the student with any appreciation 
of the debt that Western civilization owes to German scholarship, 
to have patience with these aberrations of the human intellect. I 
am thinking not only of the debt that learning owes to German 
scholarship for the painstaking thoroughness which has made 
possible such systematic arrangement of the discoveries of investi- 
gators of all nations as we have in themistry, for example, in the 
invaluable Handbuch der organischen Chemie of Friedrich Konrad 
Beilstein, or in sociology the work of Max Weber or in theology the 
work of Ernst Troeltsch. That is a fact which the youngest research 
student soon finds out. What I have in mind is the much‘ less 
frequently recognized debt that science and learning owe to 
German scholars for the original discoveries that have set the 
human mind blazing new trails. For example, in mathematics 
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz first enunciated the principles of the 
differential calculus. Carl Friedrich Gauss founded at Géttingen 
the first special laboratory for the study of terrestrial magnetism 
and incidentally made so many discoveries in the field of magnetic 
tFeory that the process whereby the ships of the United Nations 
ate rendered invulnerable against German magnetic mines is 
called “de-gaussing.”” Non-Euclidean geometry also begins with 
Gauss, and although a Russian, Nicholas Lobachevski, and a 
Hungarian, John Bolyai, did pioneer work of first-class import- 
ance in this field, it was Gauss’ pupil, Georg Friedrich Bernhard 
Riemann, another German, who, quite independently, in his dis- 
sertation, Uber die Hypothesen welche der Geometrie zu Grunde liegen, 
inaugurated the more profound and generalized discussion. Two 
Heidelberg professors, Gustav Robert Kirchhoff and Robert 
Wilhelm Bunsen, laid the foundations of spectrum analysis and 
revolutionized not only inorganic chemistry but astro-physics by 
their discovery that chemical constitution determines the wave- 
length of the radiations given out by a heated body. Organic 
chemistry dates from Friedrich Wéhler’s synthesis of urea and the 
demonstration by his colleague in the University of Giessen, 
Justus von Liebig, that a complex group of atoms—the so-called 
“radicle’—is capable, chemically speaking, of behaving like an 
element. The list is interminable, Johannes Muller and experi- 

31 Pp. 15-16, loc. cit., quoted (p. 11) of History on a Racial Basis (Friends of Europe, 
Publication No, 42, London, 1936). 


mental physiology, Max Schultze and histology, Karl Marx and 
socio-economic history, Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis, Max 
Planck and the quantum theory—all did pioneer work of unsur- 
passed merit and set investigation in the field of their respective 
subjects on completely new paths. * 

The only charitable thing left to. the student, after considering 
the plight into which contemporary German scholarship has 
fallen, is to come to the conclusion that other Nazi scholars 
besides L. G. Tirala, the professor of “Race-Hygiene” at Munich, 
write their books in the following fashion: 

I came home: and there lay the book before me. Every chapter was there, 
nothing wanting, on the table. Unconsciously the thing had pieced itself 
together and the inner law of the book crystallises itself into a form such as 
-presents itself before the astonished eyes of the research worker. 

This could never have happened if the boldest dreams of the German 
people had not come true through the deeds of a man whom Houston, 
Chamberlain longed for and prophesied: “the man with the lion heart?— 
Adolf Hitler.82 

_ As one primarily concerned with the natural and the social 
sciences in their bearing on the problem of university education I 
have taken examples from these spheres of learning to indicate the 
abyss into which German scholarship has fallen. Had I 
approached the matter from the side of literature or the arts the 
same conclusion would have forced itself upon us. After a close 
association with the life and culture of Nazi Germany, Joseph C. 
Harsch sums up his judgment on contemporary art in Germany in 
the following terms: 

All art in Nazi Germany is intended to encourage primitive emotions. It 
glorifies war, manliness and femininity. It encourages large families. It places 
such an emphasis on realistic sex as I have not observed in any other European 
.country. Behind it is a new Nazi definition of the distinction between morality 
and immorality which breaks through the traditions of Christian morals and 
Western civilization. It involves basically the encouragement by every means 
possible of what is called Gesunde Erotika, or “healthy eroticism.” By “healthy 
eroticism” they mean any eroticism which (a) increases the birth rate and/or 
(b) pleases the soldier home from war or the S.S. man off duty.38 

In drama, too, everything must be subordinated to the political 
demands of the moment. Thus, Blume’s play dealing with the 

82 In the preface to his Rasse, Geist und Stile (Munich, 1935), quoted from p. 6 of 
Race, Mind and Soul, Friends of Europe Publications, No. 40 (1936). 


Teutonic knights was rewritten (without his permission) in 1934 
so that Lithuania and not Poland was depicted as the enemy of 
Germany. In that year Hitler was wooing Pilsudsky and so the 
standards of drama and history alike were set aside in the name 
of political necessity.** 

Alternatively we could have taken the Fascist universities of * 
Italy and the fate of learning under Mussolini as our example. 
. Such a procedure would have brought us to the same inescapable 
conclusion: the Fascist-Nazi remedy for the chaos into which. 
liberal democratic learning has fallen is worse than the disease. 
To another proposed solution, that of the Bolshevik university, 
integrated on the basis of a Marxist synthesis, let us now turn. 

% For an authoritative and documented account of the fate of literature under the 
Nazis, see German Literature Through Nazi Eyes, by H. G. Atkins (London, 1941). 

Note to the Reader 

The manuscript of this‘chapter was written before the Nazi army invaded 
the Soviet Union. The events of the last three years have not led to the emer- 
gence of any new facts which lead me to qualify my conclusions, In a democ- 
racy, I see no reason why my adniiration for the valiant efforts of the Russian 
people or my conviction that the Soviet Union must play a leading role in - 
Peace-making, should cause me to temper my criticism of the Soviet conception 
of the aim and purpose of a university. That is why the following chapter—in 
“spite of the fact that the Soviet Union is one of the United Nations—remains, 
apart from one or two minor revisions, as it was written, 

A.S. N. 

“Where Karl Marx is wrong is more important than where everybody else 
ts right.” 

N the last chapter we examined the Nazi conception of a 
I university as a possible remedy for the ills that beset the liberal 
democratic university. We came to the conclusion that although - 
the latter is so out of touch with reality that it thinks that it suc- 
ceeds in teaching science without metaphysics, facts without 
values, and history without propaganda, yet this situation is not 
remedied by the teaching of science wedded to Nazi metaphysics, 
of facts with a Nazi evaluation and of history according to the 
dictates of Nazi propaganda.1 

However, the Nazi remedy for its fundamentally sound diag- 
nosis of the crisis in the liberal conception of knowledge and the 
role of the university in modern society is not the only one that is 
vehemently presented ‘for consideration in the world of to-day. 
The Marxist critique of liberalism in the realm of learning has 
had, and continues to have, much greater prestige in the Anglo- 
Saxon world than its Fascist equivalent. There is ample justifica- 
tion for such prestige if only in the fact that Karl Marx attacked 
liberalism in. economics, politics and learning alike, decades 
before anyone else thought of so doing. To the typical business- 
man, statesman, or scholar in the safe and prosperous years of the 
latter half of the nineteenth century, it seemed obvious that as long.” 
as governments and Churches minded their own business, then 


industry and commerce would continue to prosper under the con- 
trol of the capitalist and the guidance of the engineer, until all the 
world was as contented and happy as the suburban residents of 
Manchester or Philadelphia. 

What was noteworthy about Marx was not the incidental 
prophecies that he made. Many of these, such as his forecast that 
the middle classes would eventually disappear and that the first 
proletarian revolution would take place in a highly industrialized 
country, have already been disproved by events. ‘Marx’s greatness 
was revealed in the insight which led him to place a huge question- 
mark on the easy-going confidence with which his contemporaries 
faced the problems of a capitalistic civilization. Undoubtedly the 
most striking vindication of his prophecies was the emergence of 
Fascism at that stage in the development of capitalism when it 
became incompatible with political democracy. I do not wish to 
suggest that this interpretation of Fascism—still current in 
orthodox Marxist circles—is completely adequate, but I do assert 
that any interpretation that does not include such an analysis is 
more gravely in error than the interpretations of Marxists such as 

. Palme Dutt,? or semi-Marxists like H. J. Laski,* who see nothing 

For generations Marx was either ignored or ridiculed in 
academic circles. For example, J. S. Nicholson, the Scottish 
economist, as recently as 1921, could dismiss Marxism with the 
contemptuous words: . 

There can be no real progress in any science, economic or other, unless 
-exploded fallacies are allowed to disappear into the limbo prepared for 
vanities that have had their day.* 

Similarly, among less well-informed writers, Marx is dismissed, 
as for example in H. G. Wells’ revealing autobiography, as “‘that 
stuffy, ego-centred and malicious theorist.’’® 

However, as the crisis of Western civilization has deepened 
during the last decade, Marx has received increasing recognition, 
and it is no exaggeration to say that he, more than any other single 
writer, has changed and is changing the contours of modern 
thought. Thus R. H. Tawney, in his inaugural lecture as Professor 
of Economic History in the University of London, paid his tribute 
to the imprint that Marx has made on historical writing: 

2 E.g. in Fascism and Social Revolution (London, 1934). 

3 E.g. in The State in Theory and Practice (London, 1935)- 
4 Economic Journal, Vol. 31, p. 229. 

B Evteriment in Autnitoorathe (London. 1024). po. 180. 


Marx opened a new chapter in historical discussion, which, two generations 
after his death, is still unclosed. His hints have become books by. writers un- 
conscious of plagiarism.® 

Tawney’s praise is not too extravagant. J. M. Keynes pointed’ 
out’ some years ago that there is not a single reference to the price 
revolution of the sixteenth century in the Cambridge Modern History. 
To contrast such a complete failure to take account of the 
economic factors in history with the stress laid on them in recent 
historical writing is an indication of how profound the influence of 
Marx has been. 

In economic science proper the same revolutionary evaluation 
of Marxist thought has taken place. Thus one of Keynes’ distin- 
guished followers, Joan Robinson, maintains that 
if there is any hope of Progress in economics at all, then it must be in using 
academic methods to solve the problems posed by Marx... . The orthodox 
economists have been muclt concerned with elegant elaborations of minor 
problems, which distract their pupils from the uncongenial realities of the . 
modern world. . . . Marx’s intellectual tools are far cruder, but his sense of 
reality is far stronger and his argument towers above their intricate construc- 
tions in rough and gloomy grandeur.’ 

Similarly, A. D. Lindsay writes of Marx’ influence on political 

The more debatable doctrine of the class war has at least shown the sterility 
of the earlier political theory which thought only in terms of the individual and 
his state.? 

To take an illustration of Marx’ influence from another field, 
we might quote the verdict of the Professor of Historical Theology 
in Yale University, R. L. Calhoun, who, writing of the class 
struggle, remarks that: 

It is an obvious fact though a more complex one than the literature of revolt 
might lead one to believe. By insisting on its basic importance for hard-headed 
social thinking and action, Marxist thinkers have made it impossible to content 
ourselves any longer with general appeals to human brotherhood and the 
common welfare.1¢ 

Excluding mathematics and the natural sciences, Marx’ imprint 
has been made on the whole of modern scholarship. Sociology, 
literature, philosophy, political theory and Iaw are all different 
because Marx lived and wrote. That is why we must take seriously 
the Soviet universities, since, based as they are on Marxism, they 

® Economica, Vol. 13 (London, 1932), p. 6. 7 See Economica, Vol. 7 (N.S.). p. 358. 

8 An Essay on Marxian Economics (London, 1942), pp. 3 and 115. 

* In his introduction to Historical Materialism and the Economics of Karl Marx, by B. 
Croce. E.T. by C. M. Meredith (London, 1914). 

10 God and the Common Life (New York, 1935), p. 229. 


offer, unlike the Nazi universities, a. live option as a possible 
solution to the dilemma in which the liberal democratic university 
finds itself. : 

Soviet education, since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, has. 
changed with such startling rapidity that it is difficult to believe 
that the system has been based on any permanent set of premises. 
Soon after the Revolution there was a determined effort, led by 
Shulgin, to eliminate schools and colleges altogether. He argued 
that “the street teaches, the factory teaches and the party teaches; 
therefore school was redundant.”) Another influential group in- 
sisted that since all children belonged to the State, they should be 
brought up in State institutions, a principle which in practice 
means that the school becomes the “home.” Neither theory 
was accepted in its entirety but each had its calamitous effect. 

More destructive still to sound education was the theory that 
the schools should be run by the pupils and the universities gov- 
erned by the students. However, by 1928, when the first Five Year 

’ Plan was launched, these aberrations had been considerably toned 
down and, by 1932, teachers in both schools and universities 
assumed charge of the curriculuni. Yet these and all subsequent . 
changes were but surface ones, for the system derived its funda- 
mental line of direction from Marxist theory. Hence an examina- 
tion of the Marxist conception of a university involves a considera- 
tion of whether Marxism should be adopted as an alternative to 
the liberal-scientific Weltanschauung. 

Marxism is both a development of and yet a protest against 
liberal thought. Like Nazism, Marxism maintains that knowledge 
must serve a social purpose and that knowledge is socially condi- 
tioned, but like liberalism, Marxism believes in the possibility of 
the universalization of knowledge through the development of 
science. Indeed, the word, “science,” is a key to the understanding 
of the whole Marxist position. Marx and Engels called their 
system Scientific Socialism to distinguish it from that advocated by 
their opponents in the socialist ranks, whom they dubbed Utopian 
socialists since, argued Marx and Engels, these reformers were 
more concerned with describing the future socialist state than in 
discovering a method of achieving it whereas, as scientific socialists, 
they (Marx and Engels) considered that it was less important to 
draw up a detailed description of Utopia than to devise a plan of 

11 Quoted by Beatrice Harrison in an article Soviet Education; dts Phases and Purposes 


getting there. For this reason they frankly adopted the basic 
methodological principle of the natural sciences and applied it to 
history.1? In their hands it became: if we wish to precipitate a 
successful revolution when the appropriate moment comes, we 
must examine past revolutions and then hitch ourselves con- 
sciously to the historical process. They quite deliberately pre- 
cluded, so they thought, any condemnation of capitalism on 
ethical grounds. In their judgment they were simply being 
“scientific” since they maintained that they were predicting the 
future of the economic system through their capacity to under- 
stand it in the present in the light of the past. In the words of one 
of their modern devotees, J. B. S. Haldane: 

It is, however, of the utmost importance to realise that though Marx and 
Engels thought Capitalism was unjust, their reason for believing that it should 
come to an end within a relatively short time was not because it was unjust, 
. but because it was not working.18 

Upon this foundation Marxist thinkers have worked out dialec- 
tical materialism as a complete philosophy of life. It is totalitarian 
in two senses: it has an answer to every question and the answer 
is one to be imposed upon all who claim to believe the theory, or 
who live under Soviet jurisdiction. : 

It is in its optimism that Bolshevism is most closely akin to 
liberalism. However, whereas the liberal rationalist is confident 
that if only man will rid himself of the dead weight of superstition 
and tradition then there are no limits to what he can accomplish | 
by pursuing the methods of the natural sciences in controlling both 
nature and society, the Marxist believes that this is only possible 
if science itself is first cleansed of its bourgeois associations. Thus 
to use the ambitious words of an Irish Marxist: 

The great contribution of Marxism is to extend the possibility of rationality 
in human problems to include those in which radically new things are happen- 
ing for . . . Marxists have some way of analysing the development of affairs 
which enables them to judge far in advance of scientific thinkers what the 
trend of social and economic development is to be. 

It is this over-confidence in the adequacy of their analysis that 
is largely responsible for the failure of the Communist Parties 
seriously to affect the thinking of the working classes of the Anglo- 
Saxon world. Looking back over a personal acquaintance with 

12 As Marx in the original preface to Capital remarks: 

a peunal purpose of my book is to reveal the economic laws of motion of modern 
society. . : 

38 Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences (London, 1938), p. 170. 

16 ae ely and the Sciences (London, 1938), p.170. 


orthodox Communists that has lasted more than a decade, one 
fact emerges clearly and that is their everlasting optimism in the 
face of all facts to the contrary. The eternal cry of the Marxist 
prophets has been that capitalism is collapsing because of its own 
inner contradictions (whatever that means) and that therefore the 
successful revolution is “round the corner.” What has been most 
astounding is the persistence of such optimism in the face, on the 
one hand, of the increasing hold of liberal democracy in the Anglo- 
Saxon countries exactly at the times when capitalism has been 
obviously in a state of crisis and, on the other hand, of the con- 
tinual defeat of Communist Parties or policies as evidenced in the 
political success of Fascism on the continent of Europe. Thus, in 
the early thirties, in Germany it was the Nazi Party that increased 
in strength as the economic depression got worse. In Great Britain 
jt was a “National” government, pledged to social reconstruction 
on the basis of orthodox capitalism, that was swept into office in 
1931.15 In the United States the lesson of the Great Depression to 
the masses, judging from the enthusiastic election of Roosevelt to 

. the Presidency in 1932, was not that capitalism was doomed and 
its complete removal necessary, but that, in terms of a “New 
Deal,” it could be made to work properly.1* Subsequent Presi- 
dential elections have confirmed this diagnosis. The vote for the 
Communist candidate fell from 102,991 in 1932 to 80,150 in 1936 
and to 46,251 in 1940. 

‘There are many reasons that can be adduced to account for the 
failure of Communist teaching to grip the minds of the working 
classes of the world. One basic cause which is relevant for our pur- 
pose here is that the typical Marxist exponent is never as rational 
as befits an exponent of scientific socialism. Unlike Hitler, he has 
used his opportunities for propaganda as the immediate means of 

1 The verdict of the German historian of the British Labour Movement is as apt as 
it is emphatic: 

“The critical years, 1930-1932 were, indeed, putting the Communists to the crucial 
test, and they were found wanting. ‘At the General Election in 1931 their twenty-six 
candidates polled the grand total of 74,824 votes, an average of less than 3,000 votes 
for each candidate. From these facts we draw the lesson: If a Communist Party, after 
ten years of ardent propaganda, js unable to make headway at a time when ‘gradu- 
alism’ is visibly falling into discredit, when the feeling is widespread among organised 
Labour that capitalism is on the decline, and when unemployment is putting 20 to 25 
per cent. of the insured workpeople on the ‘dole’, then the conclusion is inescapable 
and the argument irrefutable that there is no hope for the Communist Party in 
Britain.’—Max Beer in A History of British Socialism (London, 1949), p- 437: 

16 For an illuminating account of why the U.S.A. is sympathetic to the Soviet 

experiment see chapter vii of The Grisis of Capitalism in America, by M. J. Bonn (New 
Pop tis CE a ee i, £\ why Communist propaganda has at the same time 


outlet for the emotions, hates and fears of the moment. Hence his 
use of verbs like “smash,” “destroy,’’ “exterminate,” etc.—a 
vocabulary that, to the psychologist, is of profound. significance. 
This failure of the Communist to use his reason to control his 
emotions has often blinded him to any real understanding of the 
way in which the mind of the typical skilled artisan moves. This 
was aptly illustrated when, in the coal-mining village in England 
where I was brought up, I listened on one occasion to a Com- 

" munist speaker launch forth an eloquent attack on Nazis and 
Fascists abroad and capitalists and trade unionists at home. The 
orator closed his speech by a dramatic appeal to his audience of 
stolid North-country men “to smash capitalism for, in the words 
of the Communist Manifesto, you have nothing to lose but your 
chains.” There was a moment’s pause and then the crowd broke 
into jeering laughter which ended the meeting when a quick- 
witted and uninhibited collier shouted back, ‘“‘B——y liar, ’aven’t 
we gor ah Mary’s pianner ’alf paid for?” 

The failure of that speech to move his hearers to an endorsement 
of the Communist case lay in the simple fact that it was one long 
expression of a curious combination of an unconscious resentment 
against the “capitalist classes” and a conscious belief that Marxism 
is a complete explanation of the whole of existence.17 The speaker 
like the vast majority of Communists, but unlike Hitler, had not 
accepted Nietzsche’s dictum that the man who acts on his resent- 
ments is not the superior man; and by superior man Nietzsche 
meant, as Hitler does, the man who has the capacity to overcome 
others. That is one secret of Hitler’s success in rising to power in 
Germany and in overrunning one country after another. In a 
word, he is rational in his hates, and in his action and strategy he 
has a detachment that should be the envy of less successful politi- 
cians. For Hitler, hate is not an emotional indulgence that 
satisfies the unconscious desire of the moment at the expense of 
more important aims of the future. Rather it is a tap that can be 
turned on and off in accordance with the required strategy of the 
moment. When his policy decreed that Czechoslovakia was the 
enemy, then the faucets of hatred were turned on the Czechs, and 
the Poles were left alone.1® 

17 As one of the other listeners remarked to the speaker as he made his departure, 
“?T trouble with thee, owd chap, is that tha thinks that tha knows it all.” 

18 This skilful use of hatred was co-ordinated throughout the whole realm of human 
conterte: Sce the illustration of the Nazi’s re-writing of Blume’s play in the previous 


Unlike the Nazis, the Communists are so much the children of 
rationalism that by hook or by crook they will insist on attempting ~ 
to explain all their policies as consistent with both past actions and 
present theory. The oscillations of Communist Party strategy over 
the last few years furnish numerous illustrations of this self- 
immolation on the altar of consistency, for, no matter the cost, all 
policies and all actions must be demonstrated as consistent. 

In the summer of 1939, I was assured repeatedly by Communists 
in England that any possibility of a rapprochement between Nazi’ 
Germany and Soviet Russia was impossible. Such an idea, I was 
told, was an invention of the capitalist Press. Eventually, when the 
Nazi-Soviet pact was signed and thé photographs of Stalin shaking 
hands with Ribbentrop appeared in the Press, all that my still- 
believing acquaintances could say was that Stalin must have some 
good reason for doing what he did. One could only comment to 
them: ‘“‘Now, as never before, you realize what the writer of the 
Book of Job meant when he exclaimed ‘Even though he slay me - 
yet will I trust him.’ ” 

Soon after war finally broke out, Mr. Harry Pollitt, the Secretary 
of the Communist Party of Great Britain, wrote the following words: 
to stand aside from this conflict, to contribute only revolutionary-sounding 
phrases while the ‘Fascist beasts ride roughshod over Europe, would be a 

betrayal of everything our forebears, have fought to achieve in the long years 
of struggle against capitalism. 

However, before the end of the month, the Communist Party of 
Great Britain, in conjunction with the other constituent parties of 
the Third International, reversed this interpretation of the war 
situation in obedience to orders from the Kremlin. This view of 
the matter would not, of course, be accepted by an orthodox 
Communist. If questioned on the reasons for the change in policy, 
he replies, to use the words of one of them:1* 

We Communists made a mistake. When on September 2 we enunciated the 
policy of the “‘war on two fronts” we thought it was possible to point out all 
this, to support the war against German imperialist reaction, while at the same 
time exposing and weakening British imperialism, which has built German 
reaction to a menace, and seeks, not to destroy it in the interest of progress, 
but to make it subservient. . 

Our ear is close not to telephone wires from international mystery cities, but 
to the British working class, to factories and to homes, and it did not take many 
days’ practical experience of this policy to teach us that it just wouldn’t work, * 

19 Ivor Montague in an article Communist Policy in the Fabian Quarterly, Winter, 1939, 
p. 31 (London). 


At all costs the orthodox Communist must prove not that his 
propaganda is in accordance with Stalin’s foreign policy—that 
would be understandable and intellectually respectable—but that 
it is in accordance with the working-class opinion. That is a 
procedure which is as unavailing in fact as it is foolish in 

Each Communist Party organized a campaign, during the 
autumn of 1939, urging that the war was simply an “imperialist” 
war, the continuation of which was contrary to the interests of the 
working classes throughout the world. The defeat of Poland, it 
was maintained, (which by then had been divided between Nazi 
Germany and the Soviet Union), brought to an end any reason 
for the continuation of hostilities. Indeed, the Daily Worker soundly 
trounced the British and French governments of the day in unmis- 
takable terms, for starting and prolonging the war: 

Hitler repeated once more his claim that the war was thrust upon him by 
Britain. Against this historical fact there is no reply. Britain declared’ war, not 
Germany. Attempts were made to end the war, but the Soviet-German peace 
overture was rejected by Britain. All through these months the British and 

French governments have had the power to end the war: they have chosen to 
extend it.20 : 

By the end of 1940 ‘People’s Conventions” were being organ- 
ized throughout Great’ Britain urging a policy of what, following 
‘Lenin’s technique of 1917, was called “revolutionary defeatism.” 
It was maintained that a - , 
people’s government could formulate peace proposals and, while effectively 

defending us from foreign imperialism, could appeal to the people of con- 
quered countries to form their own people’s government.24 

It was clear to everybody that such a government would have * 
to go on fighting Hitler until similar governments had been 
formed on the continent of Europe by appealing over Hitler’s 
head to the German people. Nowhere did the advocates of the 
policy explain either how this latter could be done or how Hitler 
could be fought on the basis of the principle of “revolutionary 
defeatism” while it was being done. 

In view of its claims to be scientific, Marxism stands or falls on 

20 Daily Worker, February 1, 1940. This statement is obviously modelled on some 
remarks of Stalin published in Pravda in November, 1939. They run: “It was not 
Germany that attacked France and England, but France and England that attacked 
Germany, thereby assuming responsibility for the present war.” Quoted in A History 
of Soviet Foreign Policy, by M. Ross (New York, 1940), p. 44. 

21 Daily Worker, January 14, 1941 (New York). 


its success in predicting and not only in interpreting and under- 
standing the changes and chances of the political scene. In the 
hands of its Communist exponents, this it has signally failed to do. 
What we may validly call its rational scholasticism has meant 
that it has functioned as a closed system and not—as it can be— 
as a fruitful instrument of social analysis. 

It is this feature in the Communist brand of Marxism that 
inevitably kills any hope that it can furnish the liberal democratic 
university with the foundations for the new speculum mentis. Like 
the scholasticism of the Middle Ages, the scholasticism of the 
typical Communist has no place for new facts, for, come what 
may, “the party line” must be vindicated and the ways of Stalin 
justified to man.*? 

Soon after the Nazi armies invaded the Soviet Union the whole 
Communist movement in Britain raised the cry of a second front. 
The Soviet Union plainly needed it. Then began the twisting— 
not to say manufacture—of facts to prove that the working classes 
in Great Britain, like the rank and file of the Army, were wellnigh 
universally in favour of a second front. As early as September, 
1941, Claud Cockburn, the London correspondent of New Masses, 
cabled his paper to the effect that the men in the British Army 
were “violently impatient with all the delays in the creation of a 
second front and the excuses offered for them.”’** 

Although the situation has considerably changed since then, 
nothing was further from the truth at that time, as a description of 
the temper of the British working classes, both within the Army 
and on the production belt. On the contrary, their mood—I am 
describing, not vindicating it—was rather expressed by the 

The Soviet Union precipitated this war by signing the Nazi-Soviet Pact. 
Who in the long run caused it, whether it was Adolf or Neville, is neither here 
nor there for the moment. We do know that when Joe Stalin signed his agree- 
ment with the ex-champagne salesman,™ war became inevitable and Joe 
knew it. Weil then, let the Soviet Union do some of the fighting now. A bit of a 
rest won’t do us any harm and in ‘any case we’ve got to be quite ready and not 
half-armed as we were in Norway. When the second front comes we don’t 
want any more retreats like Dunkirk, Greece or Crete. Let us therefore supply 
the Red Army with any tanks, guns or planes we have available, but for 

Heaven’s sake let us wait until our lads are properly equipped before we make 
any more excursions to the continent of Europe. 

22 i.e. to the man outside the Soviet Union. Any within the U.S.S.R. who question 
the party line receive neither persuasion nor argument but exile or execution. 

ae ae Ea es 24 Ribbentrop. the Nazi Foreign Secretary. 


The scholasticism of Cockburn is rife wherever orthodox 
Marxism has struck roots. Reinhold Niebuhr recites®* the follow- 
ing incident that occurred in one of the universities of the Ameri- 
can Middle West. In a speech, Niebuhr-remarked that imperialism 
is not a monopoly of capitalist powers but that it is a perennial 
feature of the life of nations. As an illustration of his thesis he men- 
tioned the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland and the Baltic 
States. In the subsequent discussion he was informed by a Com- 
munist that the action of the Soviet Union, referred to by Niebuhr, 
was not imperialist since Communism 6y definition (Italics mine. 
A. S. N.) is not imperialistic. 

Neither is scholasticism of this type characteristic only of those 
Communists who are marooned in the benighted world of the 
liberal democratic states. It is even more obvious in the U.S.S.R. 
as it is revealed, for example, in the official defence of the emer- 
gence of a socially stratified society based on economic privilege.: 
The possibility of a “classless”? society—whether it is or was in- 
evitable is not the point—was really ruled out when Stalin revised 
Marx’s dictum, “From each according to his capacities, to each 
according to his needs,” so that it became “From each according 
to his special capacities, to each according to his special needs.’2 
Around the Kremlin a bureaucracy has arisen with all the para- 
phernalia of class, such as special privileges and a higher standard, 
of living. Joseph E. Davies, when he was the United States 
Ambassador to the Soviet Union, was invited to lunch at the home 
of Madame Molotov. In his memoirs he laconically remarks: 

The table was filled with hors d’ceuvres. Luncheon was elaborate and many 
courses—three kinds of meat—six kinds of fish.27 

This class stratification runs throughout the whole of the Soviet 
Union. Writers, artists, leaders of dance bands along with high 
government officials occupy positions near the apex of the social 
pyramid. Skilled workmen and technicians follow. They, unlike 
the former group, may not have their country homes or dachas in 
the country, but differences in housing and modes of dress 
(especially among their wives) tell only too plainly that class- 
consciousness is far from dead. The next lower grade of the 
pyramid consists of the ordinary factory worker, and, occupying. 
the broad base at the bottom, are what in England or the United 

2 In a conversation with the writer. 26 See: Article 12 of the new Constitution. 
eis ds Dean Tt pas 4 ca «yl he 


States would be called the ‘farm hands.” This social stratification 
is not based upon trivial differences of economic reward. Sir 
Ernest Simon has worked out the ratio between the real income 
of municipal street-cleaners in various cities of the world and that 
of the highest paid officials of the municipality or state. Moscow 
and London came off with, from the egalitarian point of view, the 
worst figures, about 1 : 30, whereas for Stockholm, Copenhagen, 
Brisbane and Wellington the ratio varied from 1 :6 to 1 : 9.8 
Similarly, in the armed forces of the U.S.S.R. all the indicia of 
rank have appeared—titles, medals, decorations, epaulets and 
gold braid. ’ ; 

- However, the faith of the Communist is ever adequate to 
remove such a mountain of class-stratification, and Mr. Davies, 
like any other questioning individual, received from his acquaint- 
ances in the Kremlin the perfect scholastic reply: 

on the Marxian theory there is no class distinction except that which exists 
between the workers and_a capitalistic property-owning class which exploits 
them, and, inasmuch as this is a socialistic enterprise for the benefit of the state, 
and has no capitalistic property-owning class, therefore in the proper sense of 
the word, there are no “classes” because of these differentiations.2® 

That strange paradox of the Anglo-Saxon world, the individua- 
listic liberal who regards the Soviet Union (in idea only) as his 
shelter from the stormy blast and his eternal home, might reply 
to such an indictment of the Soviet Union that the illustrations 
quoted are taken from the politico-economic realm and that such 
scholasticism does not affect adversely the life and work of the 
Soviet university. 

Such an objection would betray a complete misunderstanding 
of what the Communist means by “‘theory.” Dialectical materia- 
lism is not a metaphysical theory to be kept within the walls of the 
classroom and lecture hall. It is the theory that governs all the 
most diverse spheres of human activity. There is not one theory 
’ for government, another for industry, another for law, another for 
art, another for foreign policy and another for education. The 
whole point of the Communist case (and herein lies its importance 
as we seek for a solution to the chaos of liberal atomism whereby 
each sphere of life has its own laws and goes its own way in com- 
plete autonomy), is that there is one theory which orders and 
dictates the whole. Indeed, the Communist proudly boasts that 


education is planned as carefully as and in relation to the collec- 
tivized economy of the U.S.S.R. He would point out that the word 
prosvestchenie which is normally translated “education” has come 
to be synonymous with “enlightenment.’”’*° By enlightenment he 
means learning the proper handling of domestic. appliances, the’ 
need to clean one’s teeth, the understanding of football and the 
refusal to use bad language. That is why the radio, museums, art 
galleries, theatres, cinemas and the educational programmes of 
factories, collective farms, clubs and trade unions, as well as the 
curriculum of schools and universities, must be centrally con- 
trolled. The educational activities of all these institutions and 
organizations are based on the same theory. In the words of 
Lenin: ‘ 

in the Soviet Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic the whole educational system 
_. . must be animated by the sptrit of the proletarian class struggle for the 
realization of the aims of its dictatorship, i.e. the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, 
for the abolition of classes, for the removal of all exploitation of man by man.?+ 

The entire system of higher education is an acted commentary 
on this principle. There is nothing in the U.S.S.R. similar to the 
colleges for the study of pure science and liberal arts which can be 
found in the United States or the Faculty of Arts in British 
universities. Each institution for higher education in the Soviet 
Union exists to provide a particular kind of specialist. The univer- 
sities train specialists in the natural sciences, the social sciences 
and philosophy, while the engineering and industrial academies 
train technicians. To insure orthodoxy of teaching in the institu- 
tions of higher education a special kind of graduate school, open 
only to members of the Communist Party, has been founded. 
A. Pinkevich, the Director of the Research Institute of Scientific 
Pedagogy in Moscow, describes it in the following terms: 

In a special category stands the Red Professors’ Institute, which accepts only 

members of the Communist Party with a higher education. Its object is to train 
teachers of philosophy and the social sciences for the higher schools.32 

Moreover, all the schools have a specific political responsibility 
_ in relation to the community. The author just quoted goes on to 
80 See Soviet Education, by R. D. Charques (London, 1932), p. 11. 

31 Quoted by A. Pinkevich in Science and Education in the U.S.S.R. (New York, 1935), 
p. 14. 


In the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e. the period of prepara- 
tion of the conditions required for the full-realization of Communism, the 
school should not merely be the vehicle for the principles of Communism 
generally but also a means of conveying the organizing, educating, ideological 
influence of the proletariat to the semi-proletarian and non-proletarian layers 
of the population, with the object of bringing up a generation capable of 
establishing Communism.33 

The liberal’s objection that the political scholasticism of the 
Stalin régime does not affect adversely the life and work of the 
Soviet university would betray also an equal ignorance of fact; 
for the whole teaching of the schools and universities of the Soviet 
Union, like the propaganda of the separate Communist parties 
outside the Soviet Union, is all co-ordinated to agree with the 
political necessities of the Stalin régime. Thus a typical Com- 
munist pamphlet, A History of Soviet Foreign Policy, sums up the 
period between the Russo-German armistice of December 5, 
1917, and the signing of the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the words: 
“Lenin and Stalin were forced to wage a bitter struggle against the 
enemies of the working class—Trotsky, Bukharin and others—who 
had started a furious campaign against the conclusion of the peace 
treaty.* The treaty itself is referred to as ‘‘a testimony to the 
tactical genius of Lenin and Stalin.” 

This strange interpretation of historical events is not a casual 
aberration of an individual American Communist. It is officially 
put forward in the authoritative History of the Communist Party of the 
Soviet Union.25 In it Trotsky, Bukharin, Radek and others are 
“allies in a sinister scheme,”’ “‘traitors” and “‘monstrous,”’** while 
Stalin’s name is always linked with that of Lenin as a model of 
loyalty and virtue. Thus Stalin and Molotov are referred to as 
Lenin’s “close disciples and colleagues.” 3? 

33 Loc. cit., p. 27. 

34 A History of Soviet Foreign Policy by M. Ross (New York, 1940), p. 8. 

85 E.T. (New York, 1939). 

36 Loc. cit., p. 216 ff. Even the historical records have been changed so as to show 
Trotsky up in an anti-Lenin light. Thus when the Central Committee of the Bolshevik 
Party met on February 17, 1918, and Lenin put the-crucial question: “‘If the German 
armies renew their offensive and if the workers’ revolution does not take place in 
Germany and Austria, are we then to sign for peace?” Trotsky voted with Lenin and 
for peace. This fact is recorded in the contemporary account of the meeting. However, _ 
when the documents were reprinted in 1928 (the year of his excommunication) Trotsky 
is among those who are accused of abstaining. It is true that Trotsky began by oppos- 
ing Lenin in the deliberations of the Committee but it is equally true that, at one stage 

in their discussion, so did Stalin. 
See pp. 512-15, The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-18: Documents and Materials by James 

es. ee ee ae RS Re Ae ec Ae PR, , ORO, | Or ROM SEE «Pee 5! een Ne 


What were the facts about the negotiations which led to the - 
treaty? John W. Wheeler-Bennett, the author of the standard 
volume (standard, that is, outside Communist circles), Brest- 
Litovsk: The Forgotten Peace, presents an entirely different view of 
the matter. He points out that Trotsky was deliberately chosen by 
Lenin to lead the Soviet delegation, since the aim of the Bolshevik 
leader was to draw out the deliberations at the peace-table as 
long as possible. This historian’s careful conélusion is that 
“Trotsky carried out delaying tactics with masterly skill.”3* 

It is true that Trotsky made a serious miscalculation when he 
defied the German generals with his historic gesture of ““No War— 
No Peace’’ and went back to Petrograd. But the resulting sacrifice 
of territory which Lenin approved (it was inevitable in any case) 
provided exactly the breathing space necessary for Trotsky as 
Minister of War to organize the new. Red Army which eventually 
defeated the counter-revolutionary forces and assured the final 
success of the Bolshevik Revolution. 

Barbara Ward, the foreign editor of The Economist, ‘Pays a 
similar tribute to the fashion in which “the struggle against the 
White Armies was carried on—and brilliantly—by Trotsky” and, 
as the final cut of all to the orthodox Communist, she remarks, * 
“Stalin was still relatively unimportant,’#* a judgment that 
accords with Wheeler-Bennett’s dictum that “in these early days 
the future dictator of Russia showed no capacity to rule or lead.”’«0 

The co-ordination with political necessity of the teaching of 
history in the schools follows the same pattern. The standard text- 
book in Soviet schools, School History of the Soviet Union, has broken 
completely. with the tradition of earlier text-books. These had 
emphatically denied that personalities played any important role 
in history, whereas the new text-took glorifies the mind and will 
of the ruler in the decisive periods in Russian history; all this to 
present a suitable background to the picture of Stalin as “the 
modern leader of the people.” Trotsky, Bukharin and the rest of 
Stalin’s opponents are all vilified. 

That contemptible enemy of the people, the Fascist agent Trotsky, and his 
contemptible friends, Rykoff and Bukharin, organized within the Soviet Union 
bands of murderers, ruffians, and spies. They assassinated the ardent Bolshevist 
Kirow. They also plotted the murder of other leaders of the proletariat. The 

88 The Treaty of Brest-Litousk and Germany's Eastern Policy (Oxford, 1940), p. 8. 
38 Russian Foreign P. Policy (Oxford, 1940), P. 28. 

‘a a 


Fascist scoundrels who followed Trotsky and Rykoff organized train-wrecking, 
explosions, fires in coa!-mines and factories; ruined machinery, poisoned work 
men and did damage wherever they could.4+ 

" The history of science is equally maltreated. 

It was only under the Soviet Government that Pavloff, as member of the 
Academy of Science, could develop his talents. Cherished by the care of the 
Russian people, supported by the power of the Soviet, Pavloff made many new 
discoveries about human life.*# 

The writers of the text-book, which incidentally Pravda recom- 
mended as “a genuine gift from Stalin to our children,” omitted to 
mention that Pavloff was not entirely unknown to the scientific 
world before the Bolshevik Revolution. Indeed, fourteen years 
before it took place he had been awarded the Nobel Prize for his 
work in physiology. 

Even the dignified pages of The Yearbook of Education are not 
immune from such extravagant laudations of Stalin and his 
régime. M. Epstein, for example, the Director of the Department 
of Social Education, Commissariat of Public Instruction, Moscow, 
closes his article on Education in the U.S.S.R. in the following terms: 

It is impossible to understand the reasons of such a mighty cultural uplift in 
the Soviet State if one does not take into consideration the simple circumstance, 
which, however, is only possible in a Socialist State, that the appeal of the 
leader of the peoples of the Soviet Union, Comrade Stalin, to schoolchildren, 
to youth, to adult workers and peasants—to study and to conquer the heights 
of science and of technique—expresses their vital interests and natural strivings 
towards a happy and cultural life. ; 

Herein lies the pledge of a further, still grander, blooming of culture in the 
land of Soviets.48 3 

This adjustment of knowledge to the exigencies of a political 
régime runs throughout the whole of the curriculum. Thus, since 
Bukharin, Trotsky and Deborin are “traitors,” their philosophy 
must be shown to be erroneous. Bukharin, therefore, is castigated 
for his mechanistic materialism, Trotsky for his “leftist deviations,” 
and Deborif for his “dialectical idealism.” 

Quoted by Paul Olberg in article The Teaching of History Under Stalin in The 
Contemporary Review, Vol. 155, p- 467 (London). 2 

42 Ibid., p. 468. P 

43 Yearbook for 1937, p. 789, published for the Institute of Education in the Univer- 
sity of London. 

44 On this whole question see the brilliant essay by Nicholas Berdyaev, The General 
Line of Soviet Philosophy, published as an appendix to his The End of Our Time (London, 
1933). | 


Comedy, opera and drama too, all must be co-ordinated to the 
changes in the political policy of the Kremlin. The playwright, 
Demian Byedny, completed in 1936 an opera libretto entitled 
Bogatyri. It depicted the Russian nobles during the tenth century 
as tyrants and oppressors and, with savage satire, it dealt with the 
wholesale conversions to Christianity at the hands of Prince 
Viadimir of Kiev. The opera passed the censor and it opened 
triumphantly in Moscow, being acclaimed a brilliant success by 
the critics. Unfortunately for the playright, the critics, and ; 
Director Tairoff of Kamerny Theatre, the official policy toward 
Christianity had just changed. An “important member of the 
government,” to quote the vague but revealing phrase which the 
censor allowed the correspondent of the New York Times to cable 
to his newspaper, saw the opera. The arts committee of the 
Council of People’s Commissars met and declared that 
it is well known that the Christianizing of Russia was one of the principal 
factors in the rapprochement of the backward Russian people with the people 
of Byzantium and later with the people of the West, namely, with peoples of 
higher culture. 

For ignoring this truth, Byedny was castigated for showing an 
attitude which in the words of the report was “‘not only anti- 
Marxist but also light-minded.’45 : 

Art, too, must reflect the political necessities of the moment. 
The leading Soviet artist in oils, Gerasimov, ‘painted a magnifi- 
cent palace interior showing the Red Army generals in conference. 
However, before it could be exhibited at the Paris Exhibition, 
Tukhatchevsky ‘and some of the other generals had appeared 
before the courts on a charge of treason. The picture, therefore, 
was repainted and the portraits of the offending generals 

In the middle thirties the Soviet Union was in the throes of the 
Formalism controversy. Any artist who attached less importance to 
content than to form was accused of formalism. All artistic creation 
had to be turned in a particular direction or the artist was 
ignored. André Gide records that he saw at Tiflis an exhibition of 

45 New York Times, November 16, 1936. The leading Soviet composer, Dmitri 
Shostakovich, had exactly a parallel experience with his opera Lady Macbeth. For a 
full account see Dmitri Shostakovich, by Victor Ilych Seroff (New York, 1943). It should 
be mentioned, however, that in the most recent treatment of the Soviet theatre, The 
New Soviet Theatre (London, 1943), the author, Joseph Macleod, maintains that this 

extreme “‘politicization” of theatrical art has now been eased. 
GE has Bae ties te AP tas Bs Te 8 a ee eR 


the work of artists against none of whom could the charge of 
formalism be sustained. ; . 

These artists had attained their object, which is to edify, to convince, to 
convert. (Episodes of Stalin’s life being used as the themes of these illustrations.) 

He cuttingly adds “it is very certain that none of these people 
were ‘formalists.’ Unfortunately they were not painters either.’47 

In geography such a grotesque picture of capitalist countries is 
given that a critic as friendly as Beatrice King, after spending on 
several occasions lengthy visits to Soviet schools and colleges, is 
forced to record her judgment that: : 

The information given to the children about foreign countries was more 
than biased—that is common to all countries—it was incorrect.#* 

The situation resulting from this policy of “‘Gleichschaltung’’ as 
it affects the law schools of the Soviet Union, borders on. the 
ludicrous. Thus during the treason trials, law classes at the Univer- 
sity of Moscow were cancelled while efforts were made by the 
staff to find out what could still be safely taught and what text- 
books could still safely be used as fountains of truth and light. 
Such caution was advisable for the teachers knew that 

When confidence in the scholar’s loyalty to the system, which is taken for 
granted as a matter of course, is shaken (and it can be shaken in various ways 
—amongst others, by ill-will and denunciation), then no scholarly accomplish- 
ments will save him from serious trouble, prison or banishment.4° 

This policy of co-ordination of all knowledge to the political 
exigencies of the Stalin régime has meant not an advance toward 
that universalization of knowledge for which Marx and, after 
him, Lenin hoped. It has achieved exactly the opposite effect, for 
any books written by authors outside the Soviet Union have to 
be “revised.” Thus a book by the distinguished Princeton biolo- 
gist, E. G. Conklin, had several footnotes added and several 
passages omitted during its translation into Russian in the effort 
to make ‘Conklin’s biological views consistent with Communist 
doctrine.5° ; 

H. G. Wells is considered to be beyond revision. Julian Huxley 

47 Back from the U.S.S.R. (E.T., London, 1937), p- 78. 

48 Changing Man (London, 1936), p. 30- 

49 Klaus Mehnert in Youth in Soviet Russia (E.T., London, 1933), Pp. 43- 

50 See Science, Philosophy and Religion, article by Louis Finkelstein (New York, 1941), 


relates, in his book, A Scientist Among the Soviets,*1 that during his 
visit in-1931 to Soviet universities and institutions for scientific 
research, : 

I was told on high authority that Mr. Wells’ Outline of History, in spite of its 
many merits, could not be translated into Russian because a too copious com- 

mentary would have been needed to ‘‘explain’”’ it to communist readers, and 
the result would have been confusing. 

This policy inevitably produces some absurd situations, since, 
naturally, busy committees of executives and bureaucrats who 
make up the leadership of the régime cannot give adequate atten- 
tion to some of the thorny educational problems on which they 
are asked to pronounce their weighty judgment. On July 4, 1936, 
the use of the Binet-Simon intelligence test was declared to be the 
product of counter-revolutionary science. This was followed by 
penitential confessions from the educationists who had used these 
tests. The Moscow Daily News*? describes a meeting of pedagogists 
at which such a confession took place. 

Most significant was the speech of Professor G. P. Blonsky. “I personally feel 
the full weight of responsibility for the offences of pedology,” he said. “I knew 
all along that bourgeois pedology does not accept the Marxist basis, but I con- 

tinued using tests and measurements, which are a means of bolstering up the 
exploiting classes.” 

A bold ‘attempt was made in 1932 to co-ordinate the natural 
sciences with the official philosophy of the Soviet Union and a 
journal, Zeitschrift fiir Physik der Soujet-union, was founded so that 
learned articles on such subjects as ‘““The Dialectics of Graded 
Steel’? and “Marxism and Surgery” could be made available for 
scholars outside Russia. However, the absurdity of some of these 
articles proved too much for the leaders of the U.S.S.R. and the 
Party line was changed.53 

The biological sciences have not proved so fortunate, and even 
to-day, every anthropologist in the Soviet Union must accept 
Morgan’s view of the universal and unilateral succession of family 
relations since Engels did so in writing The Origin of the Family, 
Private Property and she State.** 

$1 London, 1932. 

82 See Moscow in the Makigg by Lady E. D. Simon (London, 1937). 

53 For an account of these journals and the official condemnationsee p. 999/f. Vol. II, 
Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation by Sidney and Beatrice Webb (London, 1941). 
These authors, however, are strangely optimistic in recording their judgment: 

“Needless to say, the Communist Party is as fully aware of the effects of the disease 
of orthodoxy as of its prevalence in the ranks of the Party.” 

BA CAS oetteme, fe OOK. the BPewlichk tuneelagine did ene nena. 


All biological questions are discussed in terms of this literary 
fundamentalism of Marx and Engels,** while a recent biblio- 
graphy of literature in genetics, which was prepared by a publish- 
ing house in the Soviet Union, did not appear presumably because 
some of the authors had been convicted of Trotskyite leanings.** 

Among Communists outside Soviet Russia the British bio- 
chemist, J. B. S. Haldane, has made a valiant effort to relate the 
natural sciences to dialectical materialism. His book, The Marxist 
Philosophy and the Sciences, is addressed to his fellow scientists in “the 
belief that Marxism will prove valuable to them in their scientific 
work, as it has to me in my own.”5? He does not indicate at all 
clearly where the utility of Marxist principles has been instru- 

mental in the discovery of any new facts or theories :n the natural 
“sciences, although he explores in turn mathematics, physics, 
chemistry and biology. He does, however, succeed in showing how 
one may relate the dialectical principles to scientific facts and 
formule without either adding to or, in fairness one should say, 
subtracting from their truth. The book might be called a twentieth 
century Marxist echo of nineteenth-century Biblical funda- 
mentalism. Just as the fundamentalist took great pains to show 
that the writer of the first chapter of Genesis, for example, was 
describing modern scientific theories in astronomy or biology, so 
Haldane tortures language and facts alike to prove that Marx, and 
Engels in particular, were at least the harbingers of, for example, 
the quantum theory. To give an illustration from Haldane’s 
chapter on chemistry: 

To sum up the quantum theory from this point of view, Engels wrote fifty 
years ago: “One knows that what is maintained to be necessary is composed 

_ of sheer accidents and the so-called accidental is the form behind which 
necessity hides itself.*8 In our case the necessity is the sharp quantization of 
atomic energies, which leads to sharp spectral lines and almost rigid atoms. 
The accidents are events in individual atoms, which, however, add up to 
practical dertainty when we are averaging trillions of atoms, as is almost always 
the case in practice. 

56 For a revealing interpretation of the relations between biology and Marxism see 
a book with that title by the French Communist Marcel Premant (E.T. by Desmond 
Greaves, London, 1938), and there is an interesting report of a discussion on genetics 
at the Lenin Academy of Natural Sciences in Nature (1937), Vol. 140, p. 296. 

88 See article Genetics in the U.S.S.R. by “Helix” and ‘‘Helianthus” in The Modern 
Quarterly (London), Vol. I, p. 371. 

87 Toc. ctt., p. 7. 

88 Quoted from Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy, 


That this exegetical use of Engels is not a solitary instance will 
be plain if a further examples* from Haldane is given: 

Why does this instable molecule break in an average time of half a second, 
and this one in ten years? Why is this molecule stable in water solution, but 
unstable when united with an enzyme? The answers can be given, where at all, 
in terms of quantum mechanics, with its strange union of change and necessity. 
Nowhere can we say “this molecule will inevitably rearrange ‘itself within a 
certain time.”? We can only state the probability of such an event. To quote 
Engels once’ more: “One knows that what is maintained to be necessary is 
composed of sheer accidents.” 

And, according to Haldane, this gift of prophetic foresight was 
not given to Engels alone, for this mantle fell on Lenin who appar- 
ently foresaw, even if (as is evident from Haldane’s somewhat hazy 
argument) through a glass darkly, the gene theory of modern 
genetics. To quote from Haldane’s discsnion*? of recent research 
in biology: 

The probable result of Goldschmidt’s critique will be the conclusion that a 
gene is an organ, a part of the chromosome with a definite function, extend- 
ing over a finite region of the chromosome, and usually behaving as a unit of the 
formation of gametes. But the gene will not be regarded as a point, and it is 
even possible that different genes will be found to overlap. “Knowledge i is the 
eternal infinite approach of thought to the object. The expression of nature in 
man’s thought must be understood not in a dead abstract way, not without 
movement, not without contradiction, but in an eternal process of movements, 
of the springing up of contradictions and their solution.” Lenin, quoted in 
Diderot, Interpreter of Nature (London, 1937). 

Haldane begins his chapter on psychology by saying that “The . 
mind is the most amazing example that we. have of the union of 
unity and diversity.” Haldane then manipulates—that is not too 
strong a word—both ancient and modern psychology alike so as 
to fit them into the Marxist strait-jacket. Thus to prove his point 
for the Middle Ages he finds it necessary to argue for a unitary 
theory and since “St. Thomas lived near the climax of medieval 
society when it had reached a somewhat precarious equilibrium,” 
Haldane makes the: astonishing assertion that St. Thomas ‘“‘put 
forward as satisfactory a unitary theory of the soul as has ever been 
given.”’¢! Just as we begin to ask the question, ‘““How can that be 
so when fundamental to Aquinas’ whole philosophy of the person 
was the distinction between psyche and pneuma as applied to the 


human individual?”’, Haldane moves on his exposition a few 
centuries and considers the Reformation. 

The real tragedy of the situation is that this idolatrous use of the 

. literal interpretation of the original writings of Marxist literature 
is not only quite contrary to the temper of Marx. himself (did not 
Marx himself exclaim sardonically on one occasion “Je ne suis pas 
un marxiste’?) but it gives those intellectuals who seek to defend the 
present social order exactly the excuse they seck in their endeavour 
to escape from the trouble of that re-orientation in thought which 
follows any serious attempt to study Marx. 

In seeking to understand the working of the minds (and souls) 
of Communists with the intellectual strength and personal vigour 
of Haldane, one is driven to the conclusion that in such cases the 
only category in terms of which we can understand it is that of 
religious scholasticism. 

It is scholastic since, as we have seen, the whole realm of learning 
is under the domination of an orthodoxy which in the U.S.S.R. 
can be enforced or, out of it, is voluntarily accepted by its devotees. 
As we have seen, the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin 
(like those of Aristotle in the later Middle Ages) are regarded as 
beyond criticism. They cannot be called into question. This 
scholasticism applies to, as it has its origin in, the politics and 
policies of the Stalin régime. Although he will vehemently deny 
it, the Communist resembles the Roman Catholic in that ultimate 
and final truth is revealed for both in an organization which aims 
at universal membership and which speaks through its chief 
dignitary. The Communist equivalent to the doctrine of Papal 
Infallibility is that Stalin is always right. This comparison the 
Communist will vehemently deny but that it is true is soon proved 
by his invariable refusal to name an occasion when Stalin has been 
in the wrong. 

It is valid to call Communist thought religious scholasticism pre- 
cisely because there exists in it an integrating principle which 
gives meaning to it and in terms of which the Communist inter- 
prets in faith the changes and chances of this mortal life. The 
Communist’s veneration for Stalin, as voicing the true party line, 
is a religious loyalty, since it is a loyalty which conditions, but i: 
never conditioned by, other loyalties. 

Among liberals who, not having joined a Communist Party, 
cannot be said to have submitted to the pope in the Kremlin, we 
have not so much a religion as a pseudo-religion. The liberal 


admirer of the Soviet Union finds it very difficult to give up his 
belief that the Soviet Union is achieving a more universal aim 
than that of the Stalin régime. The fact that he is partly right does 
not completely explain why he is so blind to any but those features 
in the régime which meet with his approval. 

A typical illustration of such liberal adoration at the shrine of 
the Kremlin is Soviet Communism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb.*? 
As Reinhold Niebuhr has wittily pointed out, 

A description of the legal structure of municipal government in New York 

_ City would have no place for Tammany Hall. One suspects that the Webbs 
sometimes leave out the communistic equivalent for Tammany.® 

In the new edition,** Mrs. Webb’s faith still holds. She contri- 
butes an introduction in which she discusses collective farms but 
does not mention famine and considers kulaks without mention- 
ing liquidation. Indeed, her introduction would never give her 

‘reader the slightest reason to believe that the O.G.P.U. played 
any role at all in the Soviet Union. It is significant that the only 
persecutions which seem to disturb the Webbs are those which 
are the lot of the intellectuals. 

Here is the key to the understanding of Marxism, whether in its 
orthodox.or liberal version. Pretensions are discerned only at the 
point where the critic is personally affected. Marxism, as Max 
Weber pointed out, 

is not to be compared toa cab that one can enter or alight from at will, for once 
they enter it, even the revolutionaries themselves are not free to leave it,®5 

Marxism has become a source of political confusion and intel- 
lectual error precisely because it finds the origin of both in class 
and class alone. That is why it is so acceptable to the liberal intel- 
lectual because it does not seriously challenge his self-esteem. It 
assures him that all partial perspectives can be transcended, not 
realizing that that delusion is the most powerful pretension of all. 

The Marxists have done right in attacking the traditional liberal 
thinker for his pretence that he has attained objective and 
impartial truth at the point where his interests are imperilled. The 
Marxist is correct when he says that 

& First published London, 1935. 5 

88 Radical Religion, Vol. I, p. 38 (Spring, 1936), New York. 

* London, 1941. Its introduction has been separately published in the U.S.A. under 
the ambitious title, The Truth about the Soviet Union. 

6 Quoted by Karl Mannheim in Ideology and Utopia (London, 1936), p. 62; from 
Politik als Beruf in Gesammelte Politische Schriften (Munich, 1921), p. 446. 

As there is no “neutral” human culture, so there is only “class,” “bour- 

ois,” “proletarian,” etc. culture; as there is no “objective” science, so 
> 3 
there can be no non-class University.*¢ 

He is wrong, however, exactly at the point where he forgets this 
" and pretends that Soviet truth is the final truth and that the Stalin 

régime is disinterested just because it is a Stalin régime. He can 
only escape from this error by being Marxist about Marxism 
which simply means that he has achieved the capacity to judge 
any human attainment—whether in the Soviet Union or out of it 
—from a perspective which transcends it. To do that, of course, 
is to cease being a Communist. ; 

When André Gide, the French literary critic, wrote his Back 
from the U.S.S.R.,®7 his final treason from the Communist perspec- 
tive was not his contention that the typical Moscow worker was 
indolent, nor his suspicion of official information nor even his 
statement that he doubted whether in any country in the world, 
even Hitler’s Germany, thought is less free, more bowed down, 
more terrorized and more vassalized,** than in the Soviet Union. 
It was not his scornful remarks, 
in the U:S.S.R. everybody knows beforehand once and for all, that on any and 
every subject there can only be one opinion, and in fact everybody’s mind has 
been so moulded and this conformism become to such a degree easy, natural, 
and imperceptible, that I do not think any hypocrisy enters into it. . . . Every 
morning the Pravda teaches them first what they should know and think and 
believe. And he who strays from the path had better look out!6* 

. Gide’s final treason lay much. deeper. It was that he had dis- 
covered a higher loyalty than the Stalin régime and so could write: 

There are things more important in my eyes than myself, more important 
than the U.S.S.R. These things are humanity, its destiny, and its culture.?¢ 

There lies the ultimate source of the only adequate rejection of 
orthodox Marxism as the cure for the malady which afflicts the 
liberal democratic university. : 


We can sum up the case against the totalitarian university of 
either a Nazi or a Marxist brand by saying to the Nazi and the 
Communist, however much. they may dislike being bracketed 
together: ‘ j 

€ Quoted by Eugheny Lampert from Krasniy Trud No. 5 in the article The Spirit of 
the Soviet Russian University in The Student Movement (London), Vol. 44, p- 121- 

87 (E.T., London, 1937.) 

68 hid on. 40. 49. 2nd 62 respectively. 68 Jid,. p. 45. 7 Tbid., p. 13+ 


“You are both right when you attack the chaos of the liberal 
Weltanschauung but your alternative of a totalitarian strait-jacket 
for knowledge is infinitely worse. 

“You are both right when you reject the liberal view that know- 

“ledge can be sought for its own sake but that need not and does 
not mean that therefore knowledge must be ceaselessly co-ordin- 
ated so as to buttress a particular political régime whether it be 
that of Stalin or Hitler. 

“You are both right in dismissing the liberal rationalist’s claim 
that knowledge is without presuppositions but to identify the true 
presuppositions with the contents of a dictator’s head is no better. 

“Finally, you are both wrong and profoundly wrong when 
having seen through the liberal’s pretensions you claim absolute 

“truth and finality for your own.” 


“We stand on the threshold of a new epoch in which a set of ideas, com~ 
pletely different from those which were characteristic of the period coming 
to a close, will direct and control man’s thinking.” 




“No educational activity or research is adequate in the present stage of 
consciousness unless it is conceived in terms of a sociology of education.” 


N-the foregoing chapters we have considered from various 
I aspects the crisis in Western civilization which the emergence 
of the totalitarian Powers has thrown into clear relief. In particular 
we have seen how the liberal Weltanschauung, based upon the 
premise that science is presuppositionless and deals with facts and 
not with values, is dissolving before our eyes. We have rejected the 
totalitarian synthesis of knowledge—whether with a Marxist or a 
Fascist label—on the grounds that each of them is an attempt to 
remedy the disease of modern civilization by aggravating the con- 
dition that produced it. Nevertheless. we have seen that in order 
to stand against the totalitarian challenge the contemporary univer- 
sity in the liberal democratic world can no longer be content to 
regard itself simply as a centre for the efficient distribution of 
factual knowledge. In the words of an eminent teacher of history:4 

To place each item of fact in the realm of meaning—that is the great task of 
the university. . . . It is not enough to say that the scholar has the facts and 
knows how to get them; it is not enough that he is disinterested and loyal: to 
truth. Only can he achieve his goal if he provides an interpretation of facts in 
the light of the wisdom of the ages to the end that it gives meaning to the life 
of individual men and purpose to the activities of society. : 

1 Edgar Eugene Robinson in an address in the Stanford University Memorial 
Church, August 3, 1941. 


Thus the typical liberal democratic university teacher must 
drastically revise his proud (and empty) boast that he is teaching 
nothing but the “‘facts’’: natural science without metaphysics, the 
social sciences without political bias and history without propa- 
ganda. Instead, he must be willing to accept the responsibility for 
the creation and teaching of a unified and coherent philosophy. . 

It is impossible to exaggerate the difficulty of this task; the 
cleavages in fundamental premises are so deep. Prior to the First 
World War, the West had some semblance of unity even if, as we 
have seen, it rested upon a basis that we can now no longer accept. 
At the least it was sufficient to furnish some common language of 
communication. But to-day the chaos is sé complete that even 
that is denied us. The depth of the intellectual crisis in our day 
can best be seen by noticing that knowledge in any age has a 
two-fold character. On the one hand, it is related to what I shall 
call its ontological reference. By that I mean the ultimate purpose 
for which knowledge is sought: in Scholasticism, it was the glory 
of God through the preservation of feudalism; in liberal democ- 
racy, it is the self-sufficient individual; in Soviet Communism, it is 
the achievement of a classless society in the U.S.S.R.; in Nazism, 
it is the good of the Nordic race with Germany as the spearhead 
of that race. On the other hand, knowledge is also related to the 
categories in which it is finally expressed: what I shall call its ° 
“form.” For example, the “‘form’’ of knowledge in early Scholas- 
ticism was Platonic, whereas in later Scholasticism it was Aristo-_ 
telian; in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the form of 
knowledge was mathematico-physical; in the nineteenth century 
it was evolutionary; and in contemporary Marxism it is dialectical. 

It is clear that the intellectual climate of opinion in any age is 
therefore a function of two variables: its ontological reference and 
its “form.” Thus in its “form” Scholastic thought before Thomas 
Aquinas was Platonic and after him it was Aristotelian whereas 
during the whole of this period it was theocratic-feudalistic in its 

_ ontology. Similarly knowledge remained “‘rational-individua- 
listic”’ in its ontological reference from Galileo to Darwin but its 
“form” repeatedly changed as the sciences developed. The 
resemblance between our age and that of Europe at the end of the 
Middle Ages is that since the fall of Rome on these two occasions 
only has there been a need for a simultaneous revision of know- 
ledge in its form and its ontology. Both Marxist and Nazi thought 
involve this dual révision of liberal thought. Whereas liberal 


thought is rationalist-evolutionary in its form and individualistic 
in its ontological reference, Marxist thinking is rational-dialectic 

- in its form and “‘classless-society-of-the-future” in its ontology. 
while Nazi thought is anti-rationalistic in its “form” and Aryan 
in its ontology. : 

Our task in the present chapter is to indicate the “form” of 
knowledge in the future speculum mentis. If we are to give up, as 
both the’ internal growth of science and the politico-economic 
development of the Western World indicate, the thought-model ° 
based on science as traditionally understood, what can take its 
place? As I-have urged before, I am not suggesting that we should 
or even can adopt a Canute-like attitude and try to slow up the 
advance of science as a body of factual knowledge. On the con- 
trary, I am simply arguing that what we need is a new frame of 
reference in terms of which scientific knowledge can be ordered 
and understood. That is exactly what the early scientists accom- 
plished with “reason.” They did not deny its utility but, as we saw 
in Chapter II, they simply placed it in a new frame of reference. 

To the rational individualist we have replied: ““Your remedy of 
more facts for the contemporary chaos in which learning finds 
itself is like suggesting to a swimmer drifting to Niagara Falls that 
all he needs is more water.” To those who suggest that the way out 
is for science to stand still, we say: “Your remedy is like seeking to 
canalize Niagara in one of Lord Bridgewater’s early waterways.” 
To pursue the metaphor we can say that just as the swimmer is 
saved when the relation between his body and the water is 
changed so that he can deal with it with some hope of success, so 
modern man needs a new orientation of his mind in relation to 
the facts. Then and only then will he be able to deal with them. 

Nor do I wish to suggest that the “form” of the new frame of 
reference can be described before it has been achieved. And that 
achievement is not yet. At this juncture in history only certain 
outlines are visible. What these are can be seen by noticing the 
common elements in the Nazi and the Communist pattern of 
knowledge. In spite of their profound disagreements in other 
realms both the Nazi and the Marxist realize that the Achilles’ 
heel in the liberal rationalist’s conception of knowledge is his 
failure to recognize that every assertion, no matter how objective 
it may appear, is to some extent related to certain’ group interests. 
Hence it has ramifications extending far beyond the specific intel- 


forestry. I single out these two subjects from the university 
curriculum precisely because they are the two subjects suggested 

. by one liberal rationalist, H. J. Laski, as indicating two fields of 
knowledge where government departments can be expected to 
give unbiased knowledge. To quote his actual words: 

A government department may announce conclusions on forestry or 
meteorology without the suspicion of bias being attached to its results.* 

Yet when the Second World War broke out these were two 
fields of study the results of which were kept as dark a secret as 
any mystic lore of the ancients. 

It can scarcely be denied by the most rigid liberal rationalist 
that group interests have a controlling influence on the growth of 
the social sciences for the simple reason that every statement of a 
“social” fact touches at some point the interests of a group and 
therefore to bring such facts to the public gaze is to court the 
objections or, less generally, the praise of these groups. But even 
the growth of the natural sciences is conditioned by social factors 
since these latter determine the particular fields to be developed 
and since certain criteria of priorities, arising out of the practical 
needs of the power groups within a society, determine the field of 
investigation’ even within so-called “pure” science. At the same 
time, we must realize that the process is a “dialectical” one, since 
the discoveries of science stimulate certain needs which, in their 
turn, set further problems for elucidation by the scientist. 

This attempt to correlate the growth and formulation of know- 
ledge with its social background has come to be called the sociology 
of knowledge. There is little doubt but that this approach is here 
to stay, for it has explained what from the angle of all pre-Marxist 

' thinkers, from liberal rationalists to Roman Catholics, was a com- 
pletely mysterious problem, viz.: Why do different systems and 
types of knowledge come into existence at specific historical 
epochs, and not at others? 

As we have seen, knowledge at the dawn of the modern era was 
indiyidualistic in character, while to-day the sociological aspects 
of knowledge thrust themselves upon us. This is no accident. The 
predominant mode of thinking in the sixteenth century was 

2 4 Grammar of Politics (London, 1925), p- 374+ 

Tn fairness to Laski I should add that in his more recent writings, he adopts a view 
of the integral connection between knowledge and its social origins which is closely 
akin to the one being put forward in this book. See, in particular, his criticism in his 
Parliamentary Government in England (London, 1938), pp. 267 f., of Sir William 
Beveridge’s idea of an economic general staff. 


rational-individualistic and, as such, it was the correlate of the 
calculating and individualistic entrepreneur of early capitalism. 
The parallel does not stop there. The correlation, on the one hand, 
between the capitalistic economic order based on the division of 
labour and the scientific movement based on abstraction? and, on 
the other hand, between feudal economy and scholastic philosophy 
is not far to seek. The feudal economy was, as we have seen, static 
and based on tradition. So was scholasticism.* However, both the 
scientific movement and the capitalistic enterprise are based on 
unlimited acquisitiveness, neither having any co-ordinated plan 
for dealing with the surfeit of, in the one case, facts, and in the 
other case, goods. Therein is indicated the correlation between the 
lack of any unified synthesis in the realm of scientific knowledge 
(and hence the intellectual chaos of the liberal rationalist world 
view) and the over-accumulation of goods,’ which, in the absence 
of any plan for distribution, has led to the ploughing under of 
_crops, the burning of wheat and coffee, and other indicia of the 

disorder in the socio-economic life of liberal capitalist society. The 
correlation does not end there. It is only when the modern world 
moves towards a collectivized economy that there appears among 
men of knowledge the realization that account must be taken of 
sociological factors if knowledge itself is to be understood. 

Herein we see why, for the modern world, the achievement of 
some common frame of reference is a commanding necessity. A 
planned economy is inescapable. This will carry with it the 
inevitable concomitant of a planned educational system and hence 
a planned university. The real question becomes therefore not, 
“Shall we or shall we not have a planned university?”’—that is not 
a live option—but rather, “On what basis shall it be planned, and 
to what purpose?’’* Our concern with this problem in the present 
chapter is whether we can discern the possibility of a “form”? of 
knowledge which, while being adequate for the demands of a 
collectivized society, yet helps and does not hinder both the con- 
servation and the growth of those values of individual freedom 
and responsibility for which liberalism at its best has always stood. 
The thesis of this chapter is that there is no hope that such an 

3 See Chapter II, p. 65. 

4¥For further treatment of this subject see pp. 9-11, Ideology and Utopia by Kar. 
Mannheim (London, 1936). 

5 Even when the full resources of production are not used. 

6 At the moment the universities are being planned in accordance with the require- 
ments of a war economy. 


im can be achieved unless there is wellnigh universal recognition 
iat knowledge can only be adequately understood in terms of its 
dcial origins. 
~The sociological method, applied to knowledge itself, is a 
‘iatural development of the empirical method which has been 
yasic to the scientific enterprise, for, as science seeking to become 
cientific about itself in its relation to society, it is concerned not 
with how men ought to think or even how professional thinkers 
think but with the problem of how men, in view of their social 
allegiances actually do think. It begins with the plain fact that the 
chought of an individual in its differentiated form only gradually 
zmerges out of the historical-social situation in which the indi- 
vidual lives. It is this aspect of the matter that makes clear the dis- 
tinction between the psychology of cognition and the sociology of 
knowledge. As contrasted with the sociology of knowledge, the 
traditional psychology of cognition focused attention on the 
individual, being mainly concerned with the psychological 
mechanisms that were at work in his mind. We might add in 
parenthesis that it thereby failed to realize that the immediate 
findings of the process of self-observation do not convey a know- 
‘edge of the social setting in which the mind operates. This dis- 
tinction between the sociology of knowledge and the psychology of 
cognition must not be construed as implying that psychology deals 
vith the individual while sociology deals with groups. Indeed, 
wthing could be further from the truth. Any individual can be 
considered sociologically which means that we observe him not in 
solation but in his social setting and as representative of the social 
groups to which he belongs. Similarly there is no social behaviour 
which is not confined to the possibilities of behavour that are 
available for the individual. 
We can further exhibit the distinction between the two dis- 
ciplines by pointing out, to use the words of Karl Mannheim, 
that for the psychologist 

The guiding thread of his account is the inner life history of the individual, 
with which external differences may interfere, but the unity of which is guar- 
anteed by the supposition that psychology takes the individual as a unit, as a 
closed organism. The sociologist follows up the causal interlinkage in the 
2pposite direction. He will emphasize that although all these individuals seem 
to be self-contained and self-determined units, nevertheless if one concentrates 
upon the working of institutions like barter, mutual help, co-operation, division 
of labour or upon the main functions of the family or political party, the seem- 
ingly self-centred individuals tend on the whole to behave as if they were 


giving up their autonomy in order to adjust themselves to those objective fun 
tions, the sum of which makes the institutions.” 

The distinction between the sociology of knowledge and, on th 
other hand, logic and epistemology can be stated more easily 
Logic is concerned with the question of the formal conditions tha 
must be satisfied if the reasoning process is to be valid. Thus ir 
philosophy, as traditionally understood, there is no final distinc 
tion between logic and epistemology since epistemology can be 
defined as the attempt to ascertain the most general principles of the 
body of knowledge in so far as it is a systematic and coherent whole. 

Such principles can be termed a priori principles. They canno. 
be proved since they themselves are constitutive of any series 0: 
deductive steps. They cannot be empirically established because 
they themselves are ingredient in the very processes whereby the 
mind investigates what is given in experience. In a sense they are 
self-evident since in the very nature of the case nothing else can 
be logically prior to these principles. But they are not self-evident 
if by that term we mean “true on inspection.” In actual experience 
our understanding of them is continually changing since they are 
formulations of what is implied in the process of thought as know} 
ledge expands in factual range and increases in logical consistency’ 

At first sight it would appear that these a priort principles are 
identical with what are sometimes called the presuppositions o 
actual thinking. But that is not strictly true, since if we examine 
the thought of any particular thinker the presuppositions which he 
takes for granted (even when, as an epistemologist, he is concernec. 
with the examination of these presuppositions) fall into twc 
groups: (a) those which are logically basic to his theory and are 
therefore the true @ priori principles inherent in his system, and 
(b) those which are psychologically basic to his thinking but 
which are logically irrelevant. ; 

The so-called laws of thought present the most obvious illustra» 
tion of the first group of presuppositions. A further illustration and 
one of peculiar interest has its origin in “original sin’”’ as tainting 
all human knowledge. This infection of the intellect by the will 
arises not from man’s finite nature but from that within him which 
expresses itself in his incapacity in action—even when theoretically 
he accepts the doctrine—to admit this limitation.* The peculias 

7 In The Sociology of Human Valuations in Further Papers in the Social Sciences, ed. by 
J. E. Dugdale (London, 1937). 

8 For an illuminating elaboration of this point, see Reinhold Niebuhr’s essay 
Religion and Action in Science and Man, ed. by Ruth N. Anshan (New York, 1942). i 


interest of this illustration lies in the fact that it explains the exist- 
ence of presuppositions of the second type. They consist of those 
hidden assumptions which we think of when we use the word 
“bias.” They have their origin, not in the fact that knowledge is 
“human,” but that the knower is British or German, academic or 
practical, young or old, bourgeois or working class. All truly 
scientific thought will seek to eliminate this bias, since it is the 
intrusion of the logically irrelevant. The attempt, of course, can 
never be completely successful. The only thing that man can do 
is to accept the fact that to become aware of a bias is to some 
extent to transcend it. The psychology of cognition deals with 
these hidden presuppositions in so far as they are expressed in the 
thought of the individual thinker, whereas the sociology of know- 
ledge is concerned with these presuppositions of thought in so far 
as the thinker is a representative of a particular group. 

It is sometimes maintained by those who deprecate any 
emphasis being placed on the psychological and sociological 
factors which govern the growth of knowledge that to do so is to 
substitute the pathology of thought for epistemology. This argu- 
ment is akin to that which dismisses Marxism on the grounds that 
it is “social pathology.” But a scientific study of society must begin 
with the facts as they are, just as human pathdlogy forms the basis 
for advances in human physiology. Similarly, if epistemology is to 
be a realistic study it must take human thinking as it really is and 
not as it ought to be as its starting point. For, as A. E. Heath points 
out,* “The more we know of the conditions which determine our 
own behaviour, the freer we are.” Similarly, the more we know 
of the ways in which our thinking can be erroneous the more 
clearly can we estimate its accuracy. A natural scientist, who is 
consciously aware that his categories of thinking are shaped by the 
rationalism of a scientific education, is better able to correct the 
inevitable onesidedness of his approach when he sets out to under- 
stand social, religious or esthetic problems. 

The sociology of knowledge, like the psychology of cognition, 
therefore, furnishes épistemology with the data for its’ true and 
proper function. The sociology of knowledge as an empirical study 
(and not as an evaluative one) seeks to throw light on the accepted 
methods of argument and to reveal’ the existence of styles of 
thought dominant in particular socio-historical periods. Hence, 

° P. 385 of his article Philosophy and Contemporary Science in Science To-day, ed. by Sir 
J. Arthur Thomson (London, 1935). 


although a realistic epistemology will admit the fact that all know- * 
ledge is sociologically and historically determined, yet it will insist 
that it is within its own province to correct, to an ever-increasing 
extent, the errors arising from these conditions. It will do this by 
making explicit the circumstances in which thought develops and 
so embody this further knowledge in its own system. 

The sociology of knowledge does not assume that the mere fact 
of the awareness of their divergent perspectives by intellectual 
antagonists will automatically cause them to agree but it does give 
those of them who have eyes to see, the possibility of taking a’step 
away from their own relative position to one that, although still 
relative, yet seeks to include the insights of those who view the 
situation from various and divergent standpoints. 

The real value of the sociology of knowledge is the plain truth of 
its principal thesis that there are fashions of thought that cannot 
be adequately understood so long as their social origins are 
obscure. Once these origins are laid bare, much light is shed on all 
controversies. Thus, in reviewing Christianity Right or Left? by the 
English lawyer, Kenneth Ingram, and Motive and Method in a 
Christian Order by Lord Stamp, R. H. Preston has used?° to great 
effect the main thesis of Karl Mannheim’s Ideology and Utopia. By 
“ideologies” is meant mental fictions which originate unconsci-- 
ously in the minds of the members of those groups within a society 
who seek to stabilize the social order. By “‘utopias” is meant wish 
dreams that gondition the thought of those opposition groups . 
which are seeking to transform that same society. Preston shows 
that Stamp tends to ignore those aspects of the present social 
situation which, as a Christian, he would deplore, since funda- 
mentally he seeks to justify the main contours of the present 
economic order. Similarly, Ingram—as a Socialist—tends to ignore 
those aspects of capitalism which show its capacity to adjust itself 
to political changes and its alleged internal “contradictions.” 

The sociology of knowledge sets out to show how the social 
milieu provides the individual with a background of thought on 
the basis of which he deals with everything presented to him. This 
background acts as a kind of intellectual filter by operating selec- 
tively in relation to the spread of the new ideas. Similarly, the 
working out of a problem in the mind of an individual investigator 
depends on the psychological association of ideas in his mind. 

The presence of the selective function, to use the phrase of the 


older logicians, of the “apperceptive mass” accounts for the fact 
that original ideas tend to be expressed in an extreme fashion. A 
new theory, in the judgment of its author, is a corrective of know- 
ledge already accepted by the social group to which it is offered 
but the “ideology’”’ of this group tends to persuade the group to 
reject any such corrective to its knowledge. This leads the author 
to express his theory in a form more extreme than he really holds 
it; it then tends to become a real “antithesis” to the “thesis” of the 
society to which it is offered and it is only after a time that the 
“synthesis” can appear. The utility of this approach can be 
illustrated by considering why the Church of Treland, which is 
in communion with the Church of England, is predominantly 
“Protestant,” whilst in Scotland its counterpart is characterized by 
its “Catholic” tendencies. The Church of Iréland and the Episco- 
palian Church in Scotland are both the Churches of minorities. 
Hence the tendency is to react against the religious ethos of the 
Church of the majority. In Ireland this is Roman Catholicism, in 
Scotland it is Presbyteriansim, and so the Church of Ireland is 
“low Church” but the Episcopalian Church in Scotland is “high 
Church.” . 

The impact of the sociological method on education can be dis- 
cerned by contrasting this approach to education with that of 
J. H. Newman in his classic The Idea of a University. Newman 
points out that although a liberal education is an “exercise of 
mind, of reason, of reflection,” yet “we want something more for 
its explanation, for there are bodily exercises which are liberal, and 
mental exercises which are not so.”41 

Newman adds that a professional education, for example, 
afferds ample scope for the highest exercises of mind but that he 
cannot regard them as “liberal.” On the other hand, he can 
accord that appellation to the palastra, to the Olympic games of 
ancient Greece, to the equestrian pursuits of the Persian nobility, 
or to war in the age of chivalry, or to fox-hunting in the nineteenth 

_ century in England. 4 

Manly games, or games of skill, or military prowess, though bodily, are, it 
seems, accounted liberal; on the other hand, what is merely professional, 
though highly intellectual . . . is not simply called liberal, and mercantile 
occupations are not liberal at all. Why this distinction? because that alone is 
liberal knowledge, which stands on its own pretensions, which is independent 
of sequel, expects no complement, refuses to be informed (as it is called) by any 
end, or absorbed into any art, in order to present itself to our contemplation,12 

AAD ae el i eet Tne Be Oa eS te ee ee Pea em 


Nowhere does Newman penetrate deeper and go on to raise the 
question of why does “the gentleman”’ of ancient Greece, Persia, 
or nineteenth-century England expect no complement. Had he 
done so he would have discovered that each case he quotes is that 
of a leisured class and it is membership of the same sociological 

. 3‘ 
group, separated though they are by centuries, which accounts for 
the emergence of a common cultural characteristic. 

Adolf Léwe has skilfully used the sociological approach to 
explain the increasing awareness of the shortcomings of the liberal 
conception of university education inside as well as outside 
Newman’s Alma Mater. During the nineteenth century the 
Oxford ideal of the “‘gentleman-amateur,” characterized by such 
qualities as versatility, open-mindedness, and the capacity to deal 
with people, proved more than adequate as a basis for training the 
sons of the upper strata of English society to take their place as 
leaders in politics, business, public administration, and the 
Church. Specialized knowledge was not needed. 

However, this system worked because of singularly favourable 
social circumstances arising from the opportunity for’ economic 
expansion under conditions of political security which the extent 
of the Empire and the unchallenged strength of the British fleet 
made possible. These conditions are no longer present. It is now 
evident that political, social and economic adjustment cannot be 
left to unco-ordinated individual activity, but that a new equili- 
brium, both: between the nations and within them, can only be 
achieved in terms of a rationally planned social order. For such a 
society the liberal education of the gentleman is not enough. In a 
world where statesmen have to choose between, for example, the 
relative merits of different methods of synthesizing rubber “the 
enlightened expert” will inevitably take the place of “the 
gentleman-amateur.” To sum up the matter in Léwe’s own 

Our future intellectual leaders will not be able to understand, and still less 
to plan, even a small fraction of social life unless they know how to link together 
the various aspects of their experience into a unity of knowledge. But they can 
carry out this process of linking together only if they have learnt to make use 
‘of the findings of the specialist sciences and, at the same time, have acquired 
some direct experiénce of, say, the particular benefits and strains arising from 
industrial life, of nature as reshaped by technique, of social responsibility as 
increased by the new potency of planning.18 

18 The Universities in Transformation (London, 1940), p. 29. . 


Thus far in this chapter we have concerned ourselves with the 
sociology of knowledge viewed as an empirical study that 
derive the relation that exists between ideas, opinions and convic- 
tions, and the social situations in which. they emerge. There now 
remains the important issue of whether any empirical connections 
derived can have a bearing on the problem of validity. In other 
words, we have to deal with the question, “What has been added 
to our knowledge of a statement when its social background and 
origins have been worked out?” 

There are four current answers to this question: a 

The first answer is that of the complete sceptic. It takes the 
form of arguing that the “truth” of any assertion whatsoever is 
really ‘non-existent since the sociological approach to knowledge 
makes clear the worthlessness of the validity of any assertion so soon 
as its relevance to.any particular social situation and group interest 
has been indicated. In practice this answer is rarely entertained 
with consistency, and it passes into the second answer which main- 
tains that the validity of an opponent’s assertion has been refuted 
once its social origins have been exhibited. This answer is aptly 
illustrated by both Marxism.and Nazism. The former. believes, for 
example, that to point out the origins of capitalistic thinking is a 
sufficient indication of its invalidity, yet he does not agree that to 
point out that Marxism is the product of discontented middle- 
class intellectuals, is equally to destroy the validity of its analysis, 
Similarly the Nazi believes that all “Jewish” physics is untrue 
because it is “Jewish,” whereas “Nordic? physics is true because 
it is “Nordic.” 

The third answer is the one usually entertained in liberal circles, 
It is urged that we must not confuse a study of origins with that of 
validity or we shall commit the genetic fallacy since nothing has 
been said about the truth or falsity of a statement when its relation 
to a whole mode of thought, like liberalism or Marxism, has been 
shown and when that mode of thought in its turn has been related 
to the appropriate social milieu out of which it has emerged. To 
believe otherwise, it is maintained, is to be committed to a com- 
plete relativism for which all beliefs are equally true and therefore 
are equally false; the only way out of this absurdity, it is argued, is 
to hold to an absolute separation between the origin and the 
validity of a statement. 

The fourth answer which, following Karl Mannheim, we shall 
call the relationist reply, steers successfully a middle... 


between the relativistic and the absolutist answers to the question. 
Unlike the absolutist answer, the relationist reply maintains that 
no assertion can be formulated absolutely but only in terms of the 
perspective of a particular situation. However, unlike the rela- 
tivist, the relationist does not believe that to admit this fact means 
that therefore all assertions are equally arbitrary. Truth alone is 
absolute. Human knowledge is always relative; it refers to rather 
than expresses truth. . 

It is possible to distinguish between these answers to the ques- 
tion by using the analogy of a steeple-jack inspecting a church, 
who, in the course of his activity looks at it-from different positions 
—the steeple, the garden wall, the lawn, the reof, and so on. In 
terms of our analogy, the relativist says that since the church looks 
different from differing positions then any statement which the 
steeple-jack makes about the church is equally true, and therefore 
equally false; in fact he has no right to believe that there is a 
church there at all. The absolutist says that the observer simply 
sees the church and therefore he can truly say from wherever he 

_ is, “I see the church.” The relationist revises this reply and points 
out that the-observer’s experience of seeing the church is more 
accurately represented by the statement “I see the church from the 

~ steeple,” or “I see the church from the roof.” 

Thus to hold the relationist position means that when we 
become aware of the social background of a statement we do in 
fact add to our knowledge since we thereby delimit its content by 
particularizing its scope and thus we make more clear the extent 
of its validity. Moreover, it enables us to correct one statement of 
a problem and its attempted solution (both problem and solution 
being inevitably enunciated from a particular perspective) by 
comparing and contrasting it with other formulations of the same 
problem and their corresponding solutions. In terms of our 
analogy of the steeple-jack, it is by changing his position and so 
altering his perspective that he can estimate more accurately the 
relation between the dimensions of the steeple and those of a 
transept of the church than by staying in one position. 

During the debates in the United States on the question of the 
Lend-Lease Bill, a Presbyterian minister from Nebraska who had 
done post-graduate study in Europe characterized an attack on 
President Roosevelt’s foreign policy as “Middle Western.” By this 
he did not mean that it was erroneous but that from the wider 
perspective achieved by his knowledge of Europe it was a limited 


point of view. Formerly (he was a native of Nebraska) it was a 
point of view which he had entertained but now he was able to 
discuss it not only as, to use Mannheim’s phrase, “‘a homogeneous 
Participant” (that is, by dealing directly with the bare content of said), but by relating the point of view to its social origin. 
Thus, just as one cannot be in error and know it, so to be aware 
of the perspective of a particular point of view is to some extent 
to transcend it. 
The transcendence is always partial. It is never complete, yet 
man cannot rest content with this limitation in his thinking. Hegel, 
for example, who was quite keenly aware of the fact that all 
human thought is historically conditioned, eventually sought to 
guarantee the truth of his idealistic historicism by maintaining 
that the Absolute had at long last reached its historical incarnation 
in the Prussian state of his day. Similarly Marx ended up by 
assuming that the enlightened class-conscious proletariat, as the 
bearers of the immanent meaning of the historical process, could 
achieve a socially undistorted view of society. Mannheim comes 
perilously near claiming a similar possibility for the social think. 
ing of the socially unattached intellectuals, To use his own words: 
One of the most impressive facts about modern life is that in it, unlike pre- 
ceding cultures, intellectual activity is not carried on exclusively by a socially 
rigidly defined class, such as a priesthood, but rather by a social stratum which 
is to a large degree unattached to any social class and which is recruited from 
an increasingly inclusive area of social life. This sociological fact determines 
essentially the uniqueness of the modern mind, which is characteristically not 
based upon the authority of a Priesthood, which is not closed and finished, but 
which is rather dynamic, elastic, in a constant state of flux, and perpetually 
confronted by new problems.14 

As one of Mannheim’s criticsts points out, this implication that 
the intellectuals are able to transcend conflicting tendencies since 
they are recruited “from an increasingly inclusive area of social 
life,” is surprisingly like Marx’s explanation of a similar capacity 
in the urbanized proletariat. To quote the Communist Manifesto: 
the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population. 

It is certainly evidence that Mannheim has not yet completely 
succeeded in coming to terms with the fact that although the 
intelligentsia are not as intimately bound up with the specific 

14 Ideology and Utopia, p. 139. 

18 Robert K. Merton in a remarkable article Karl Mannheim and the Sociology of . Know- 
ledge in The Fournal of Liberal Religion, Vol. 2, p. 125 ff. (Chicago roar). 


interests of classes based on economic difference as are rentiers 
or workers, nevertheless their vision is inevitably clouded by the 
peculiar interests and shortcomings of the scholar in any society. 
That to be a member of the teaching staff of a university carries 
with it its own limitations is evident from the fact that the point 
of view of a university professor can be so often legitimately 
dubbed “academic.” As Thorstein Veblen some years ago 
remarked of academic learning in any culture: we 

In the apprehénsion of the group in whose life and esteem it lives and takes | 
effect, the esoteric knowledge is taken to embody a systematization of funda- 
mental and eternal truth; although it is evident to any outsider that it will take 
its character and its scope and method from the habits of life of the group 
and from the institutions with which it is bound in a web of give and 

In his more recent book Man and Society in an Age of Reconstruc- 
tion’? and in his article Present Trends in the Building of Society'* 
Mannheim gives the justification for his trust in social scientists 
and technicians as those able to relate social adjustment to 
technical advance in such a fashion that democratic freedom can 
be conserved. He argues that they can “correlate the result: of 
their partial observations in order to detect the reason for the 
maladjustments of modern society.” With a truth of which he is 
unconscious, Mannheim’s translator, Edward Shils, remarks that 
“the great voices of the Western European enlightenment speak 
once more,”!* through the pages of Man and Society in an Age of 
Reconstruction. In the eighteenth century human evil was attributed 
to the ignorance of legislators or to the tyranny of the privileged 
or to the wickedness of priests. Each of these explanations indicates 
only the shape which evil takes at particular points in history. 
However, in each case the proponent of an explanation thought 
that he had discovered the origin of evil in history. In spite of 
Mannheim’s profound insight into the fashion in which group 
interest corrupts human thinking, he fails to see that the source 
of this corruption lies not within man’s sociological make-up 
but in man as man. In short, contrary to what Mannheim 
states, the truth lies with those “who believe that this tragic 

16 The Higher Learning in America (New York, 1919), p. 2- 

17 E,T. by Edward Shils (London, 1940). ; 

18 In Human Affairs, ed., by R. M. B. Cattell e¢ al. (London, 1937). 

19 In article Irrationality and Planning in The Journal of Liberal Religion, Vol. 2, p. 148 
(Chicago, 1941). * 


irrationality is due to the eternally evil elements in human 
nature.” #0 

Mannheim’s present dilemma symbolizes the position in which 
the critically minded liberal rationalist finds himself, After having 
read Freud and Marx he is too sophisticated to be satisfied with 
traditional liberal rationalism and yet he cannot bring himself to 
recognize the need for a morality of knowledge which takes the 
problem of man’s sin seriously. Indeed we can say that unless the 
thinker can posit God both as the subject to which all human 

‘thinking (like the rest of human experience) ultimately refers and 
yet as transcending all formulations—theological or otherwise—of 
human knowledge, then he must needs absolutize something else, 
be it the Prussian State of the eighteenth century like Hegel, the 
class-conscious proletariat of Marx or the classless intelligentsia of 

No one has done more than Mannheim to point out to modern 
man that the liberal rationalist belief that he is led to his con- 
clusions by reason, unsullied by the interests of the social groups to 
which he belongs, is a delusion. Yet Mannheim’s acute analysis 
fails at the point where he does not recognize that the source of 
the infection of the intellect by non-logical factors lies not, to 
adopt the language of Scholastic thought, in man’s social “attri- 
butes” but in his “substance.” As H. J- Laski once wrote, with 
greater profundity than he realized: : : 

To exhaust the associations to which a man belongs is not to exhaust the 
man himself. You do not state the total nature of Jones by saying that he is a 
Wesleyan barrister who belongs to the Reform Club and the Ancient Order of 

This means that man’s perennial inclination to search for reasons 
which justify his already held conclusions is an attribute of the self 
as such. In other words it is man’s sin which infects his thinking. 

The attempt to escape from this situation by absolutizing a 
human point of view is an attempt to achieve the intellectual 
equivalent to religious salvation. But as always happens with idol- 
makers who try to build a Tower of Babel the ideological element 

% Loe. cit., p. 65. 

I do not wish to suggest that Mannheim has not gone far beyond the insights of the 
Age of the Enlightenment at many important points. Indeed his whole work is an 
appeal to recognize the limitations of that outlook upon human life and destiny. See 
especially p. 357 of Man and Society in an Age of Reconstruction. I should also add that if 
Mannheim’s jatest book, Diagnosis of Our Time (London, 1943), had reached me before 
this book went to press, I would have considerably modified the foregoing argument. 

224 Grammar of Politics (London, 1925), p. 67. 

M ° i 


in thought inevitably intrudes at the point where a thinker seeks 
to make his thought absolute. An illuminating illustration is 
furnished by the English naval historian, Admiral Sir Herbert 
Richmond, in his view of the function of cruisers. Thus in his Sea 
Power and the Modern World® he speaks of " 
“ight” cruisers—that is to say “true’”’ cruisers and not their heavy supports, 
which are a modern innovation arising out of the increased size which cruisers 
(have) attained. 

Throughout the whole book he keeps returning to this theme 
first enunciated by him in his Economy and Naval Security. The 
origin of this conviction that heavy cruisers are not real cruisers 
plainly lies in the influence of a non-rational factor having its 
social origin in the group to which Richmond belongs—naval men 
of the older generation in the British Navy. British naval officers 
of the younger generation, like American naval officers, simply 
refer to “heavy” cruisers as “‘cruisers’” reserving the adjective to 
be used only for “light” cruisers. 

The absolutization of a partial point of view appears not in 
his contention that light cruisers are the only true cruisers (he has 
of course every right to let words mean what he thinks) but in the 
theme to which he constantly returns, viz. that “true” cruisers are 
best for everyone—for Japan and for the United States—as well 
as for Great Britain. 

The intellectual anxiety of man that leads to the absolutizing of 
his point of view is one particular expression of his essential nature 
in its perpetual quest for security. The anxiety that colours his 
reason is not simply his desire for physical survival but it is the 
anxiety of a self who is both involved in and yet transcends the 
natural process. Thus the real situation in which man finds him- 
self is that, just as animal nature cannot be completely understood 
without understanding human nature as emerging from and yet 
being miore than animal nature, so man cannot be understood 
except with reference to that which transcends man. This funda- 
mental fact about man is aptly symbolized in his capacity to stand 
in judgment on Aimself as well as on nature or his reason or his 
conscience. Moreover, this transcendence is limitless, for not only 
can man judge himself but he knows that he judges himself and so 
he can judge his own judgment of himself.23 

22 New York, 1936, p. 270. 

23 On this whole problem see Reinhold Niebuhr’s Gifford Lectures The Nature and 
rs of Man, Vol. I and in particular Chap. I, Man as a Problem to Himself (London, 



“A Christian education would primarily train people to think in 
Christian categories.”” 
T. 8. ELIOT. 

N the last chapter it was argued that knowledge in the epoch 
I before us will derive its “form” from the sociology of know- 
ledge, just as the thought of the modern world was modelled on 
the mathematico-physical sciences. Moreover, we saw that as the 
implications of the sociological approach to knowledge were 
worked out, we were led to the much deeper problem of man’s 
ontological status in the universe, a conclusion which brings up 
the question, “From whence shall we derive the ontology of know- 
ledge in the coming speculum mentis?” My answer to that ques- 
tion is that we must turn to a source of enlightenment which is 
aware of the problem of human existence at a depth to which left of Western culture, whether democratic-capitalist or 
democratic-socialist, is not accustomed. In a day when the 
optimistic presuppositions of a culture are so obviously at variance 
with the fate of the civilization on which that culture depends, it 
is clear that a fresh source of wisdom is needed. And from where 
can that wisdom come unless it be from a re-interpretation of the 
Judaic-Christian tradition which, having outlasted the fall of 
many civilizations, has therefore a source beyond any one of 
them?? : 

Western civilization at the present juncture is not unlike 
imperial Rome during the third century. In each case a tremen- 
dous social structure has had no purpose outside its own mainten- 
ance and that is why in each age the learned men have sought 

1 Here is not the place to give an “‘apologetic” for what I would call a Biblical 
Weltanschauung. The rest of this chapter is simply an appeal to those Jews and Christians 
who happen to be scientists, historians and the like, to take seriously their responsibility 
for finding, in terms of the presuppositions of their faith, some solution to the problem 
with which this book is concerned. I can only say to those thinkers who reject the 
Judaic-Christian attitude towards life (which in this book I assume) that they too 

have a similar responsibility and so they too must also work towards a solution of the 
same problem but on the basis of their particular presuppositions. 



refuge in cynicism while the common people, in fear of the un- 
known, have followed astrologers and the like. In Gibbon’s 
famous words, all religions, like all philosophies, were to the 
learned equally false, to the ignorant equally true, and to the 
magistrates equally useful. 

Imperial Rome, seeking a faith which could justify its existence, 
seized upon Christianity and under Constantine sought to. achieve 
the imperial dream of permanent peace by harnessing the force of 
the growing Christian Church, However, it was in vain. Rome fell 
but Christianity led by Augustine proceeded to lay the spiritual 
and indeed the intellectual foundations of a culture that for nearly 
a thousand years shone brilliantly in literature, painting, architec- 
ture and philosophy. . 

But that culture, too, reached its crisis. To translate literally the 
Greek word xplois (from which we get our anglicized ‘‘crisis”), 
judgment was uttered over medieval culture and it collapsed. 
Judgment is the perennial fate of all cultures. It is the time in the 
affairs of men, nations or civilizations when their shortcomings 
can nd longer be ignored and they are called to account. Particu- 
larly is this true of the thought of an epoch, for then the unforseen 
tendencies of its theories, their inner contradictions and their 
ultimate conclusions, become evident not only because new light 
is thrown upon them but mainly because they reveal themselves 
as inadequate in their application. Moreover, we can say that each 
crisis in the life of nations, universities, churches or civilizations is 
the expression of a judgment on the ideas that have inspired them. 
However, crisis is something more than judgment. For a time of 
crisis is also one of opportunity. The Chinese (and, following them, 
the Japanese) in their wisdom make up the ideograph equivalent 
to the English “crisis” by using two characters. One means oppor- 
tunity and the other means danger. 

* Under the leadership of Augustine, the Christian Church in the 
early years of the fifth century was enabled to seize its opportuni- 
ties and steer a passage amid the dangers of the Gothic invasions 
of the Empire. Can contemporary Christian thinkers perform for 
their day and generation the equivalent of Augustine’s service to 
declining Rome? Can they ensure that, in the coming intellectual 
reconstruction, a new interpretation of the specifically Christian 
insights into the nature of man and the significance of the historical _ 
process will replace the twin pillars of the optimistic view of 
human nature and the inevitability of progress upon which—in 


spite of their shaky foundations—the structure of modern know- 
ledge was built? : : 
The school of thought represented by R. M. Hutchins and 
Mortimer J. Adler would say that they can, if they will return to 
the intellectual synthesis of the Middle Ages, based on Thomistic 
metaphysics. We can readily admit that the modern mind has 
much to learn from the scholastic speculum mentis. However, that is 
a different story from seeking to put back the clock of history. To 
accept the inadequacy of a. philosophy of life based on “modern” 
science alone does not mean that we can reject the new knowledge 
of man and the universe revealed by modern science. Such know- 
ledge, of itself, may not provide an adequate foundation in the: 
coming intellectual reconstruction but that there must be a place 
for it in the superstructure cannot be denied. The Scholastic 
system collapsed because it had no place for the experimental 
method or for the facts discovered thereby. In effect the Scholastic 
philosophers were attributing final and ultimate authority to one 
of man’s own creations. In order words, their synthesis became an 
idol, and, like any other idol, its feet of clay were revealed when it 
could no longer support the demands that life made upon it. In 
a world where the gap between Christianity and the common life 
is paralleled only by that between Christian thinking and secular 
knowledge it is salutary to remember that, as we have scen in a 
previous chapter, the medieval synthesis collapsed because the 
Thomistic separation between the truths discovered by human 
reason and those given in revelation was the reflection in the 
sphere of knowledge of the gulf which Thomas Aquinas placed 
between secular work (opus manuale) and specifically religious 
. activities (opera spiritualia). The method adopted by the medieval 
Church to bridge the gulf was as disastrous in life as it was in 
learning for it meant that theologians claimed the right to dictate 
to scientists what they should discover and ecclesiastics assumed 
the power to dictate to merchants the prices at which they could 
buy and sell their goods, while, in politics, Hildebrand, rightly 

_ Claiming that political activities should be subordinate to spiritual 
principles, wrongly thought that that meant that force could be 
used by the Church to coerce kings.and people alike. As William 
Temple pointed out some years ago, when he was Bishop of 
Manchester, “The Papacy which issued interdicts was also soon to 
be found raising armies.” 


There could be only one end to this senselessness. In R. H. 
Tawney’s apt phrase, the Church soon ceased to count because it 
ceased to think. As the dams of medieval restriction broke, each 
sphere of human activity: scientific investigation, artistic endeav- 
our, business enterprise and political effort developed along 
autonomous lines. 

In countries influenced by Calvin, like the United States, or in 
England where the established Church retained its medieval ethos, 
an attempt was made to view the separate spheres of human 
endeavour at one and the same time as autonomous and yet as 
fields within which Christianity was relevant. On the one hand, 

- the relevance of Christianity to the world of science or the world 
of business was denied but, on the other hand, the relevance of 
Christianity to the life of the individual scientist or business man 
was affirmed. Thereby an intolerable tension between the life of 
the individual and the life of society was set up. This tension could _ 
not, however, endure under the influence of the self-sufficient, 
scientific-capitalist, bourgeois mentality,? which has dominated 
modern man. Each separate sphere of human activity soon became 
secularized as modern man increasingly concerned himself more 
with the part than the whole. 

However, neither could this simple secularization itself last and 
the final tragic outcome has been that within each sphere a basic 
principle was enunciated which sought to give meaning to each 
segment of human life. Thus in art the cliché, “art for art’s sake,” 
marked the final separation which emerged between artistic 
endeavour and Christian thought. Capitalistic economic enter- 
prise, which had begun under Calvin as a divine vocation, soon 
became a sphere wherein the final arbiter was neither the Will of 
God nor an ethical norm but the doctrine that “business is busi- 
ness.”” Scientific investigation for Kepler had been, to use his own 
words, the attempt “to declare the grace of God’s works to the 
men who will read the evidence of it.” It soon deteriorated either 
into industrial research, governed by patent laws, or into an intel- 
lectual exercise, unrelated to the strivings of the masses herded 
into the hovels of the manufacturing towns of Europe and 
America, but governed by the high-sounding precept “truth for 
truth’s sake.” Political authority, whether of popes or emperors, 
which in theory at least, and so with some restraint in practice, had 


been limited by principles more sacred than itself—the divine 
reason and the moral law—now claimed absolute authority: in 
common parlance “my country right or wrong” was viewed as 
expressing an adequate governing principle for the political rela- 
tions between states. The attitude toward law within a state has 
been no better. On its theoretical side the study of law has 
deteriorated from jurisprudence, as the attempt to relate legal 
concepts to ethical concepts (so-called “normative law”) to the 
science of law (so-called “positive law”) which is solely concerned 
with correlating court decisions. In the practice of law, the task of 
the lawyer is generally conceived as the achievement of a means 
whereby the client’s wishes can be gratified rather than the dis- 
covery of a solution objectively right in relation to the claims of 
the contending parties and in the light of the existent legal 
code. : 

Thus in every field of human endeavour, the result has been that 
man has become so intoxicated by a concern with the part rather 
than the whole of life that what should have been construed as a 
means whereby God the Creator as an ultimate and transcendent 

“end could be worshipped has instead been elevated to an end in 
itself, operating under its own laws. Thus the modern mind, by 
bowing Christian theism out through the front door, unconsciously 
has admitted through the back door an intellectuallized version 
of what Hume’ called “‘the first and most ancient religion of man- 
kind,” polytheism. After four centuries of intellectual endeavour 
the modern man finds that he has exchanged the intellectual 

_ idolatry of Scholasticism for the intellectual polytheism of scientific 
positivism. In the universities of those countries which still retain 
liberal democracy, the influence of this intellectual polytheism has 
been calamitous, for it has meant, to use the frank words of 
Dr. William Temple in a sermon before the University of Oxford, 
that a university 

is a place where a multitude of studies are conducted, with no relationship 
between them except those of simultaneity and juxtaposition. : 

In theory the liberal university rejects the attempt to teach a 
unified conception of the world. But it has not failed to teach a 
Weltanschauung. On the fundamental questions of life and destiny, 
as Kierkegaard has reminded modern man, neutrality is impossible. 

4In his essay The Natural History of Religion, p..310, Vol. II of his Essays, Moral, 
Political and Literary, edited by T. H. Green and T. H. Grose (London, 1875). 


Even to take up a neutral position is to take up some position. How- 
ever, the contemporary university has not even been unconsciously . 
neutral for it has taught more or less explicitly a philosophy whose 
fundamental tenets are that man, if not perfect, is, like the world 
itself, slowly getting better and that pre-suppositionless science, as 
the only way of reaching truth, is the main agent whereby— 
through education—this progress can be maintained. This creed, 
as we have seen in previous chapters, is now shattered beyond all 
possible hope of repair. 

Either the lead toward a new intepretation of life which will 
guide mankind in the face of the catastrophic forces that have 
shaken the world to its foundation, will come from those fitted by 
training and inspired by moral insights adequate to furnish such a 
lead or the field will be left, to use Adolf Lowe’s words, referring to 
Nazis in his native land, “to the mountebanks with their petty 
speculations in every sense of that word.” 

To the Christian university teacher comes, therefore, the 
summons to share in a task of supreme moment. It is to help create 
a Weltanschauung which steers a middle path between the’ 
Charybdis of liberal atomism and the Scyila of totalitarian dog- 
matism. Such a task will not be accomplished by the labours of 
the gifted few any more than the massive structure of modern 
science could be built by the genius of Roger Bacon. Modern 
science could only make great strides when an army of thinkers 
had been prepared by the collapse of the medieval world to ven- 
ture forth on a voyage of new discovery. That is why Galileo in the 
seventeenth century rather than Roger Bacon in the thirteenth 
century can be called the father of modern science. In our day it 
is a work to which all scholars are called as they face the impact 
upon thought and scholarship of the crumbling of the economic, 
political and spiritual foundations of the world in which they 
live. . 

Since professional theologians rarely view their task as that of 
furnishing a synoptic account of God, man and the universe, 
Christian scholars in the so-called secular subjects have a peculiar 
responsibility for the working out of this new Christian “map of 
knowledge.” The crying need is for Christian thinkers from the 
specialized fields of the natural and social sciences, history, 
engineering, architecture and medicine who, while rejecting the 
right of theologians to dictate their conclusions can yet unite with 
them in the common task of relating these conclusions to a theolo- 


gical understanding of human destiny. The venture is not-an easy 
one for the very categories of our thinking in every subject in the 
university curriculum have been moulded by a tradition which, 
as we have seen, disclaimed the need for such a unity even when 
it was preaching one unconsciously. The Christian natural scien- 
tist—the very unfamiliarity and strangeness of that phrase 
indicates the plight in which we find ourselves—has been content 
with a view, which, going back from Eddington through Faraday 
and Pasteur to Newton, maintains that religion and science can 
never clash because they never meet. This view of the matter has 
now seeped through to the student mind. The Chaplain to the 
University of Pennsylvania has remarked® that sudents to-day no 
longer regard, as did their predecessors of the 1920s, science and 
religion as irreconcilable but 

either as subjects that ought to live happily together, or else as attempts to 
answer quite different questions. Science, they say, is interested in the question, 
“How?” Religion is interested in the question, “Why?” They say the two can, 
only quarrel when they trespass on the other’s territory. 

The leading school of economic methodologists in the univer- 
sities of the Anglo-Saxon world, represented by Lionel Robbins in 
London and F. H. Knight in Chicago, gets rid of the problem of 
the relation between economic science and Christian theology in 
a very neat way. Economic science is regarded as being concerned 
with the relationship between the ends of human action and scarce 
means which have alternative uses, while the ends themselves are 
left to reside in a realm where the question of whether an action ig 
right or wrong is viewed as one with meaning but yet as being 
quite incapable of any rational examination.* It must be empha- 
sized that this view of the relation between economic science and 
ethics is not bound up with the endorsement which the writers we 
shave just quoted give to a laissez-faire economic system. R. H. 
Preston, a pupil of Robbins and a convinced democratic socialist, 
takes up’ a similar view so far as the autonomy of economic 

5 J. C, Kolb, reported in Forth (New York), p. 22, February, 1942. . 

© Cf. “A discussion of ends involves ‘value judgments’ and with regard to these 
there can be no agreed truth.” (Austin Robinson in Economic Journal, Vol. LIU, p. 246, 
London.) Presumably there can be agreernent among economists about means. In 
that event, why do they disagree? 

7 See Christians in Society by Edwin Barker and R. H. Preston, especially pp. 89 and 
90, and note Preston’s articles, The Christian Case against Capitalism in Radical Religion 
(New York), Vol. 2, p. 8, and The Theology of the Maluern Conference in Christianity and 
Society (New York), Vol. 7, p. 25. 


science ‘in relation to ends is concerned. The astonishing feature in 
the thought of a writer with Preston’s insights is that he is so much 
under the influence of a liberal conception of knowledge that he 
fails to see that if, as he readily admits, Christianity is relevant to 
economic life then there must be some common ground between 
Christian theology as the intellectual interpretation of the 

- Christian life and economic science as the intellectual interpreta- 
tion of economic activity. This is not the place to indicate where 
that common ground lies. Suffice it for the moment to say that 
integral to Christian thought is a particular view of man as he is 
and a particular conception of human nature as it is and not only 
as it ought to be. Implicit in every attempt at economic theory is 
some view of man, of human nature. Any brand of economic 
science, therefore, agrees or disagrees with Christian thought or 
any kind of synoptic thinking, Marxist or Nazi, to the extent that 
they both do or do not work with the same idea of human nature. 
Had economists stood on their own feet and not been so much 
intoxicated by the prestige of the natural sciences, they would not 
have ignored this obvious truth—which is independent of the truth 
or lack of it, of the Christian outlook—and they would not have 
been so mystified by their own lack of agreement. Indeed, the very 
assumption that there is a possibility of agreement in the social 
sciences comparable to that in the natural sciences will preclude 
the awareness of why it does not, nor can, exist. 

Herein we see why the typical university teacher of the social 
sciences finds pioneer thinkers like, in sociology, V. A. Demant in 
England and, in political theory, Reinhold Niebuhr in America, 

. go incomprehensible since they are both claiming, in spite of their 
profound divergence of outlook, that there is a difference between 
the view of human nature—what the Germans call Anthropologie— 
given in the Christian tradition and that entertained in the liberal- 
scientific-capitalist outlook. Consequently they both argue that 
economic, sociological and political analysis with Christian pre- 
suppositions cannot lead to the same conclusions as, from the 
liberal-scientific standpoint, more orthodox theorizing in the field 
of the social sciences. 

Christian historians have struggled hard to arrive at conclusions 
free from the bias of their religious affiliations. They have rightly 
rebelled against the view of historiography as, for example, enter- 
tained by Pope Leo XIII, who, in 1899, wrote in his letter to the 

CE, Eee, Sara: RTE eM og Aes veneer oe 


Those who study it must never lose sight of the fact that it contains a collec- 
tion of dogmatic facts, which impose themselves on our faith and which nobody 
is ever permitted to call in doubt. 

However, in rebelling against such a purely propagandist view 
of historical writing, Christian historians have too often allowed 
their cult of impartiality to blind them to any sense of historical 
perspective. G. M. Treveleyan aptly remarks of the eminent 
historian, Bishop Creighton: 

In Creighton’s treatment of Luther, all that he says is both fair and accurate, 

yet from Creighton alone you would not guess that Luther was a great man or 
the German Reformation a stirring and remarkable movement.? 

Christian historians have rarely seen that historical writing is 
not the mere chronicling of events but that it involves the use of 
criteria in terms of which the significance of the infinite number 
of historical events are evaluated before their recording appears 
on the printed page. Thus these criteria cannot be the product 
of a simple induction from the historical facts. No matter how 
“scientific” the historian tries to be in deriving or analysing the 
“facts” from which he draws his conclusions there can be no such- 
derivation nor analysis which does not make use of some pre- 
supposition or criteria in view of which the facts are chosen and 
their significance understood. That is why a visitor from Mars who 
arrived on this earth just in time to witness the Battle of Waterloo 
would know more about the “facts” than the youngest schoolboy 
and yet he would understand infinitely less about the significance 
of what he had seen, precisely because he had no relevant criteria 
in terms of which he could interpret and evaluate it. In our 
own day if these criteria are not drawn consciously from the 
explicit acceptance of a particular philosophy (be it “dialectical 
materialism” or “‘racialism” or “Christianity”) then they are 
borrowed unconsciously and_ therefore uncritically from the 
heritage of liberal optimism. This fact is graphically illustrated by 
the monumental Cambridge Modern History. The hidden premises of 

8 Quoted by G. C. Coulton in Medieval Panorama (Cambridge, 1938), p. 435. Cf. p. 439 
tbid. “Somewhere about 4.p. 850 Agnellus, Bishop of Ravenne, undertook to write a 
complete series of lives of his predecessors in that see. He was, for his own time, a 
remarkable scholar: yet here is his description of his historical methods. ‘Where I have 
not found any history of any of these bishops and have not been able by conversation 
with aged men, or inspection of the monuments, or from any other authentic source 
to obtain information concerning them, in such a case, in order that there might not 
be break in the series, I have composed the life myself, with the help of God and the . 

prayers of the brethren.’ ” 
® Clio, A Muse (London, 1914),’p. 50. 


the editors can be readily seen from the fact that, as Lancelot 
Hogben once pointed out, less than fifty pages in ten volumes of - 
more than one thousand pages each are devoted to the history of 
science. Lord Acton and subsequent editors were anxious to 
“unite the moral and .intellectual realm with that, of political 
force” or, in other words, to unite cultural with political history. 
But to this school of historians, science was hardly to be regarded 
as culture and hence it could be relegated to a position of little 
importance. Even more striking is the failure to indicate the bear- 
ing of economic development on the historical process. Here 
again, to these gentlemen-Whig historians, the processes of history 
did not need for their understanding any recognition of the 
importance of buying and selling. 

Christian teachers of literature are, rightly, so eager to be free 
from moralizing as they engage in literary criticism that they have 
failed to recognize that G. K. Chesterton’s words about himself 
are true for all writers: ; 

I am quite capable of talking or writing about Dutch gardens or the game ° 

of chess, but if I did, I have no doubt that what I would say or write about 
them would be coloured by my view of the cosmos.’ 

Christian philosophers perceive truly that their intellectual 
labours must not be carried on in order to buttress the orthodoxies 
of political parties or Christian denominations, but seldom do 
they recognize with Nicolas Berdyaev?? that 

If a thinker is a Christian and believes in Christ he is not in the least bound 
to make his philosophy conform to the Orthodox or Catholic or Protestant 
theology; but he may acquire the mind of Christ and this will make his philo- 
sophy different from that of non-Christian thinkers. 

The cause of this failure of Christian scholars to relate their 
Christian convictions to the specialized knowledge of the academic 
subjects which they profess is not far to seek. It lies in the wide- 
spread but fallacious notion that religion is merely one subject 
among others in the curriculum of a school or college. 

A few years ago, The Times? editorially welcomed the appoint- 
ment of a readership in Religious Education in the University of 
Oxford on the grounds that teachers of religious subjects would 
thereby receive a training comparable to that which teachers of 

10 Quoted by Ernest Barker in an article in The Times, April 20, 1939, com- 
memorating the completion of Acton’s plans. . 

11 The Scandal of Father Brown. : 

12 The Destiny of Man (London, 1937), P- 7- “38 London, March 3, 1939. 


other subjects have long enjoyed. This newspaper was not alone 
~ in thus regarding religion subject among others. A leading 
Anglican weekly, commenting upon the addresses given to the 
1939 Conference of Educational Associations, urged that “the 
object of teaching religion in Universities is to put the subject on 
the same basis as other subjects in a University curriculum,’ 14 
while at a service in Westminster Abbey for members of the Con- 
ference, the preacher, himself a distinguished theologian, took his 
stand upon the fact of specialization within university education, 
and went on to argue that each university should provide the 
opportunity for the specialized study of religion as one subject 
among others.15 
Similarly in the United States, Zora Klain, the head of the 
Department of Education in Rutgers University, wrote in the 
correspondence columns of the Wew York Times:16 

Just as school children have brought to them music, history, mathematics, 
literature and other of man’s achievements, so ought they be’ permitted to 
examine man’s progress in religion from primitive times to the present. What 
we need are teachers who can present religion as impartially as the school 
studies, mathematics, music and literature are presented. . . . Such instruction 
in the realm of man’s progress would in a short time produce a society in 
which disagreement on religious matters would be op no different plane from 
disagreement concerning any school subject. 

It would be difficult to find a more apt illustration of the two- 
fold influence of liberal-scientific thinking. In the first place, this 
‘ calamitous influence is responsible (as in the other illustrations 
we have mentioned) for the isolation of religion as one subject 
among others and in the second place it explains the naiveté of 
outlook which can assume that differences of religious belief are 
on the same plane as those in physics or chemistry. 

The influence of the notion that scientific thinking is “impar- 
tial” and “objective” is so profound that it vitiates the thought of 
many who are sufficiently sophisticated to realize that religion is 
not so much one subject among others as that which gives mean- 
ing to the whole. Thus while the professor of religious education in 
the University of Chicago can maintain that 
Religion is not a compartmentalized experience, but a quality that potentially 
inheres in any and every experience,1? 

14 The Guardian, January 6, 1939 (London). 
6 V. F, Storr reported in The Times, January 9. 1990. 16 November 24. rose. 


yet he is so much intoxicated by what he believes to be ‘the 
scientific approach that he adds: 

the school can . . . give the same objective treatment to religion as a type of 
social behaviour that it now gives to the sciences, history and the arts. 

That the objectivity which he so much admires is never 
adopted by a science teacher merely enhances the absurdity of 
his vain appeal for “objectivity.” This false idol has been attacked 
by a distinguished teacher of biology in the University of Birming- 
ham with a vehemence of language which it deserves. 

It is plain humbug for a teacher of chemistry to say that he aims at giving 
his students an open mind about the atomic weights of the elements. 

He castigates those who hold the contrary position as “Genteel 
Whigs” for 

they contend that education should aim at giving an unbiased view on con- 
troversial questions and that knowledge is worth pursuing for its “own” sake, 
... L cannot think of any form of legitimate instruction in which it is the 
business of the teacher to give an unbiased view on controversial questions. . . . 
The accepted technique of teaching chemistry does not imply that the Phlo- 
giston theory has as much to be said for it as the Atomic theory. . . . Those 
who hold it (i.e., this theory of education) consistently would take pains to see 
that every citizen gave due weight to fool argumeits concocted by military 
mystics to delude mankind into thinking that war is a picnic or a sacrament.1§ 

Another professor of religious education, Harrison Elliott, goes 
even further than Bower for he finds the basis as well as the method 
of religious teaching in the universal acceptance of the best 
scientific knowledge as the source of light and learning. Thus he 
asserts that 
while leaders in religious education have not been unmindful of the insights 
regarding human beings in the Bible and in the doctrine of the Churches, they 
have believed that programme and methodology should be based upon the 

best scientific knowledge available in regard to the nature of man and the 
conditions of his growth.1* 

Elliott then goes on quite boldly to admit that these develop- 
ments were a product of the confidence in man and of the scientific 
attitude which originated in the period of the Enlightenment. 
Thus : 
empirical data and educational insights, rather than theological conceptions, 

have been the contributing factors in the development of programme and 
method in religious education.?¢ 

18 Lancelot Hogben in Dangerous Thoughts (London, 1939), pp. 60, 143 and 144. 


Therein is revealed Elliott’s acceptance of the liberal-scientific 
point of view as the arbiter and criterion of what should be taken 
as being true of human nature. : 

In fairness to Elliott I should add that he does not agree with 
my interpretation of his writings at this point. He insists that I 
have misrepresented his position and he maintains, in corres- 
pondence, that, far from accepting the liberal scientific “‘progres- 
sive” view of human nature as a basis for religious education, he 
is seeking to resolve this dualism between the historic Christian 
standpoint and that of modern developments in educational 
theory. However, a careful re-reading of his book leaves me 
regretfully unconvinced. He sets out, to quote his letter: 

to take the current knowledge and ideology into account and to re-interpret 
the Christian faith in terms meaningful to the present scene. 

However, when he has to choose, he comes down to the “pro- 
gressive” camp. Thus, he remarks that : 

the findings of science . . . seem to represent the most accurate knowledge avail- 
able about physical and human nature.21 (Italics mine, A. S. N.) 

Elliott’s omission in making his position clear on this point lies 
ultimately in his failure to come to terms with the inadequacy of 
John Dewey’s instrumentalism or he would not quote Dewey with 
such approval in making the following statement:22. 

standards and practices which have been arrived at through the educational 
process should be followed with conviction, but should not be considered as 
rigidly fixed. They should be held as hypothetical and tentative, not in the 
sense that one cannot act because he is not sure, but in the truer sense that they 
are to be “‘tested and confirmed and altered through consequences affected 
by acting upon them.” (John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty, pp. 263~4.) 

Elliott, like his teacher Dewey, has not faced the fact that “con- 
sequences” can only. be “tested” by criteria that transcend and 
yet are relevant to the consequences in question. Similarly 
Elliott’s treatment of sin and human nature,*® like his valuation of 
neo-orthodoxy, leaves us in no doubt that he cannot admit “the 
low estimate of ‘natural’ man and of his possibilities,” character- 
istic of traditional Christianity, but that, following modern 
educators ‘‘and on the basis of the empirical data,”’?4 he would 
emphasize the possibilities of human beings. . 

21 Can Religious Education be Christian? (New York, 1940), p. 136.28 Jbid., p. 317 

23 See especially Chapter VIII: Religious Education and Sin and Guilt, and Chapter 
XI: Human Nature and Religious Education. 

4 Ibid., p. 4. . - 


“The question which immediately arises is ‘““Why assume that 

‘modern’ educators have a right to the last word?” Swing music is 
more modern than Dykes or Sullivan but we do not therefore 
propose to rewrite all hymn tunes. If modernity, per se, is adequate 
then let us substitute Rosenberg for Kant as the text for the study 
of German philosophy. The real reason why Elliott is so keen on 
“modern educators” is that “they have taken seriously the 
sciences, psychology, sociology and anthropology.” In this respect 
Elliott is simply expressing his allegiance to the dualism which has 
been traditional in the liberal-modernist outlook. Now the body of 
knowledge within a science cannot be an ultimate criterion. Such, 
so far as science is concerned, can only be found in the presupposi- 
tions of the sciences, and they are trans-scientific. They are not like 
scientific knowledge itself derived from experience but in the 
Kantian sense they are a priori since they constitute the principles 
in terms of which experience is co-ordinated and, what is more, 
evaluated; Scientific facts are not inconsistent with a Biblical*® 
Anthropologie, but there is a drawn sword between the latter and . 
the modern, liberal rationalist Weltanschauung which is assumed by 
most modern educators and into which framework they fit the 
scientific facts. The question at issue is not whether we shall set 
the Biblical point of view over and against scientific knowledge, 
but whether we shall accept a Biblical or some other frame of 
reference for understanding human nature and into that fit the 
facts drawn from modern science. 

Elliott is by no means the only influential author whose argu- 
ments reduce the discussion to such a clear-cut issue. An eminent 
philosopher, James Bissett Pratt, in his Can We Keep the Faith?, 
rejects the doctrine of original sin and instead regards sin as an 
act of the individual will expressing itself in a known and con- 
scious defiance of an accepted moral standard. Pratt then invites 
his readers to judge between the traditional doctrine of original 
sin and his liberal-individualist conception by boldly asking the 
question, “Which of the two (views) seems more in accord with the 
tendencies of Western belief in the last four hundred years and the 
scientific tendencies of our own day?”’** : 

The verdict on this question of the educator holding the most 
influential position in the British Commonwealth—he is Director 
of the Institute of Education in the University of London—is 

0 egg esalict.” There is 2 difference between 


emphatic. After reviewing the conflict of philosophies of educa- 
tion?” he concludes that “Original Sin may be more than an out- 
worn theological dogma after all,” and asks the rhetorical ques- 
tion, “May not our happiness, as well as the saving grace of our 
education, consist in the end in a frank and humble recognition 
of the fact?” 

Clarke is so far from taking his stand like Pratt or Elliott on an 
unqualified acceptance of the scientific-critical attitude of mind 
that he can categorically state that “‘the ultimate basis of all sound 
education is not Enquiry but Faith.”** With Lotze, Clarke realizes 
- that faith in science is itself a faith. The option is not between one 
view of human nature based on faith and another based on some- 
thing more certain than faith. It lies between two views both 
founded on faith, either faith in the liberal-rationalist version or 
faith in the Biblical version of human nature and destiny. 

Moreover, even from the standpoint of empirical verification 
there is little reason to believe that the liberal optimistic view of 
human nature is one which can be accepted. Clarke boldly 
declares that a thoroughgoing denial of original sin is one of the 
well-marked tendencies of modern men, which must take some 
share of the blame for our present troubles and be regarded as 
calling for corrective action by the processes of education.?° Fhe 
others are ‘‘that moral anarchism, the essence of which is a denial 
of the moral character of the State, and the assertion of an un- 
restricted right to the exploitation of Power’ and the totalitarian 
mind for which “happiness is to be secured by uniform collective 
action working upon externals . . . under perfect discipline and 
no dissent.’’3¢ 

The dissension between Clarke and Elliott is a striking symbol 
of the confusion of our time, Elliott, from a chair in religious 
education, in a theological seminary, seeks to expel ‘‘an emphasis 
upon man’s sinfulness and inadequacy” from educational theory, 
while Clarke, a layman holding a chair in education in a “‘secular” 
university, wishes to make such a view of human nature basic to 
educational theory and practice. Might not the moral of that fact 
be that Elliott is not so “modern” after all? 

Another important difference between Clarke and Elliott is in 
their view of the relevance of sociology to educational theory. 
Whereas Elliott is completely under the influence of the individu- 

2? Sir Fred Clarke in A Review of Educational Thought (London, 1936), p. 25. 
28 Ibid., p. 7. Tbid., p. 14. 30 Ibid., p. 16. 


alism of the “progressive” theory with its insistence that each child 
must be allowed to grow in accordance with his own needs and 
interests so that nothing is interposed between himself and his own 
direct experience, Clarke accepts unreservedly Karl Mannheim’s 
dictum that . 

no educational activity or research is adequate in the present stage of consci- 
ousness unless it is conceived in terms of a sociology of education.*? 

Hence, Clarke continues, 


education must take as its main task the production of a socially determined 
type, and the debate must centre upon the nature of the type and particularly 
upon its ultimate destiny. Most of all it must concentrate upon the crucial 
issue of the double relation of the type to the society, on the one hand, the claim 
of the society to perpetuate itself in the type, and on the other hand, the claim 
of the type to become more than a type—a Person—and so to react fruitfully, 
if critically, upon the society which has produced. him.3? 

Clarke leaves the final word with theology by arguing that the 
ultimate concern of education is with two questions whose 
“answers lie deeper than the customary levels of politics, in regions 
of which most current sociological doctrines take little account.” 
The questions are: “Why should society’ need to cohere?”’ and 
“How does it cohere?” He laconically adds that the answer to the 
first question “is so simple in form and so religious in expression 
that to some it may appear mere evasion, to others mere unction. 
It is: ‘For the making of souls.’ ” To be a vale for soul-making, 
that is the end for which society and all its functions exist. As for 
the second question: 

Perhaps the answer is that there can be no answer in set terms, so deep do 
the forces lie. But if we may venture a tentative answer in terms so simple and 
platitudinous that they seem absurd, we would say “By faith and love.” The 
terms look empty enough until they receive their proper content. No definition 

or social science or system of law can confer that content. It can be given only 
by life and the grace of God.3% 

Thus we have arrived at the conclusion that Christian scholars 
must work out an adequate conception of religious education, a 
_ conception which, although giving meaning to the whole of know- 
ledge, yet does not confuse the spirit of the age with the spirit of 
the ages. Whether such a conception in practice is to be worked 
out through denominational schools is for the time being not the 
important question. However, what cannot be gainsaid are 

81 In the preface to his Education and Social Change (London, 1940). 
Ye: ee 93 JAtd.. oo. 67-60. 


the principles for which they stand, namely, that what one wants, if possible, 
is not religious instruction attached to the rest, but religious education, which 
means that the whole life and all activities of the school are penetrated by 
Christian faith. ; 
In accepting this view of the matter, M. L. Jacks, the Head of the 
Department of Education in the University of Oxford, makes the 
salient point that “religious education,” construed as one subject 
among many, is neither religion nor is it education, for if Christi- 
anity is true then it must unify all subjects taught. To quote his 
own words: ; 

Religion in schools is much more than one among many subjects: it may be 
said, in a sense, to be the only subject, for it enters into all, and without inter- 

ference acts as a co-ordinating and correlating force, giving them their signifi- 
cance in the scheme of things entire.35 

Moreover, Jacks argues that “the truths of scripture” cannot be 
learned in a period set aside for “religious instruction” but only in 
and through other subjects. He frankly acknowledges that such a 
view of the matter is not generally accepted and that, on the con- 
trary, the school curriculum consists largely of a number of un- 
related and highly specialized subjects with no underlying unity, 
a situation which he validly calls “secular anarchy.” Jacks is 
speaking of the English scene but his strictures are equally applic- 
able to the entire Anglo-Saxon world. Indeed, the view that religion 
is one subject among others so deeply penetrates the thought of our 
Western culture that even Roman Catholic educationists can urge 
the claim of “religion” to a place in the curricula of colleges. Thus: 

Any person may have pretensions of highest cultural achievement with no 

understanding whatsoever of God. Yet no person omitting mathematics can 
pretend to cultural achievement.6 

There are many grounds for believing in the necessity of relating 
religion to education, but this is surely not one of them. To suggest 
that the Creator of the Universe is a fit object for cultural study 
would be ludicrous if it were not blasphemous. Some philosophy 
will be taught implicitly or explicitly in any educational system; 
that is one lesson that all who take seriously either Nazism or 
Marxism can never forget. In the pregnant words of Dr. 
William Temple—and words which apply to the whole 
educational process frem the elementary school to the university: 

*4 Dr. William Temple in a letter to the author. 
85 God in Education (London, 1939), p. 76. 
_ 88 George Johnson in article The Catholic Schnole ge Amorten tn The Ailonst. Afsesh},, 


We have supposed that it is possible to provide education which is religiously 
neutral, to which religion can then be added in greater or less measure. But, 
fact, an education which is not religious is atheistic; there is no middle way. If 
you give to children an account of the world from which God is left out, 
you are teaching them to understand the world without reference to God. If 
He is then introduced, He is an excrescence. He becomes an appendix to His 
own creation.37 

Nothing makes this more clear than the history of higher educa- 
tion in the Anglo-Saxon world. In the United States, for example, 
the relation between Christianity and university teaching falls into 
three clearly defined stages. The first dates from the founding of 
the nine colleges of colonial times, beginning with Harvard in 
1636. These colleges were modelled on the Oxford and Cambridge 
pattern, suitably modified to accord with the demands of a 
pioneer culture and the divergent’ Church-State relations of the 
different colonies, but nevertheless they retained a definite 
Christian orientation. Their main aim was to educate the leaders, 
lay and clerical, of Church-centred communities. During this 
period 'the colleges, sociologically speaking, were Christian in the 
sense that the members of their governing bodies and teaching 
staffs in the main were practising Christians, while attendance at 
college chapel or parish church was a wellnigh universally recog- 
nized custom. But, theologically speaking, the teaching during 

’ this period in such universities, like those of the Western world as a 
whole, soon became dominated by assumptions which were “‘a- 
Christian.” To take but one example: in economics the conception 
of economic man (whose motives were guided by a philosophy 
of sell-in-the-dearest and buy-in-the-cheapest market) ruled 
supreme. Any attempt to suggest that there was a Christian con- 
ception of man which could be set over against that of Adam 
Smith would have been regarded—as indeed it js to-day but with 
not quite the same self-confidence—as intellectual obscurantism. 
It is true that Francis Wayland, the President of Brown University, 
was the author of a popular text-book, Elements of Political Economy, 
in which he set forth the views of ‘‘an American, a Christian and a 
gentleman.” However, the book itself is a sanctification of the. 
philosophy of expanding capitalism. It teaches “that the Creator. 
has subjected the accumulation of the blessings of this life to... 
determinate laws” and that economic prosperity is “one of the 
rewards which in the course of events God bestows upon wisdom 


and virtue.”s* Thus we can say that on the plane of conscious 
living the universities were “Christian” but at the deeper level of 
unconscious experience they were “a-Christian,” not to say 
“anti-Christian.” - . . 

This contradiction was quickly resolved. The business man’s 
demand that there should be no political control over trade and 
industry was soon reflected in education so that the educational 
system grew up in complete independence of federal control. That 
was not all. Under the influence of the legacy of the enlighten- 
ment it was naively assumed that, since religious loyalities had 
embittered political and economic controversies in Europe, the 
settlement of such controversies in the New World could be 
accelerated by eliminating religion, a procedure which subsequent 
' history has shown to be as sensible as trying to settle the quarrels 

of children about toys by taking away the toys. These assumptions 
laid the foundations for the second stage in the evolution of the 
relation between Christianity and higher education. It was 
reached when Thomas Jefferson founded the University of 
Virginia. His basic conviction was that the independent states 
required colleges drastically different from those which had been 
founded during the colonial era. The version of Protestantism that 
increasingly dominated the life of the young republic provided a 
theological justification for the notion that religion was a personal 
affair aind not the tap root of 4 culture. Individual conversion was 
construed as the heart of Christianity and thereby the public mind 
was psychologically prepared for Jefferson’s view that a college 
should be supported by individuals, not as Christians but as 
citizens. No clear distinction was made between control of a college 
by ecclesiastical gatherings (which is one thing) and Christian thinking 

(which is quite another). The result was that the curriculum as 

well as the administration broke loose from any Christian moor- 

ings. Jefferson’s pattern for the University of Virginia was followed 
in one respect by the founders of Williams, Bowdoin, Amherst and 
others in that these colleges, too, were founded free from Church 
control. The result turned out essentially to be the same; there 
arose, alongside the colonial type of institution for higher learning 

- based on a church controlled philosophy of education, the 
privately endowed colleges, founded to produce intelligent leaders 
for a secularized society. 

81 am indebted for these quotations from Francis Wayland to Stuart G. Cole’s 
Liberal Education in a Democracy (New York, 1940), see p. 210. 


Gradually the Jeffersonian pattern began to influence the earlier 
type of college and Kings College (later called Columbia Univer- 
sity) together with the College of William and Mary were among 
the first to abandon Church control for democratic self-govern- 

The result of this non-ecclesiastical mode of government (which 
did not matter) and an a-Christian curriculum (which did) soon 
showed itself. It led to an ever-increasing tension between a con- 
scious acceptance of Christian “practice” (evidenced by attend- 
ance at Church services and allegiance to Christian moral codes) 
and ‘an unconscious rejection of Christian “theory.” This tension 
could not Jast and it was resolved in terms of an increasing refusal 
to recognize in any way the claims of Christianity. In the lives of 
students, Sunday became the day of the week characterized by 
the opportunity to make up arrears in work rather than the day 
to attend church. In the sphere of university organization the 
resolving of this tension which marks the beginning of the third 
phase of the relation between higher learning and Christianity was 
perfectly symbolized by the emergence of State universities where 
theology as a subject for academic study was deliberately ex- 

Among university teachers the experience of William Graham 
Summer, the famous Yale sociologist, who began his career as a 
priest in the Episcopal Church, is typical. It is related that one 
day he visited the Peabody Museum and saw there the exhibit 
illustrating the evolution of the horse. Declaring that’so far as he 
was concerned such evidence proved the theory of evolution, he 
began to explore the possibility that this same process of gradual 
development might be traced in the institutions of human society. 
Carrying over this analogy from biology into sociology and for- 
getting entirely the fact that in any sociology there must be an 
implied Anthropologie he completely ignored the possibility that 
theology might have some relevance to sociological research. It 
wags not surprising, therefore, that when asked on one occasion 
why he had given up his religious faith, he replied that he had 
never given it up but that he had siniply filed it away for a time 
in a pigeon-hole and when he returned later to look for it, he . 
found that it was gone. 

The realization that such a remark was an index to the true 

8° The analysis given above in terms of the history of the American universities is 
equally applicable to the English scene. See the article on University and S.C.M. at the 
Bed ofan bea hv Arnala & Nach in The Student Movement. March. 1044 (London). 


position of Christianity in the university world lay behind the 
recognition by the Churches of the United States that the univer- 
sity and college field was one for missionary activity. This story, 
graphically told by Clarence Shedd in his The Church Follows its 
Students, is without parallel in any country in Christendom. The 
theory underlying this work was governed by two fundamental, 
but often unrelated, convictions. The first was that students should 
be converted to a convinced church membership. This was par- 
ticularly true in communions like the Episcopal Church and the 
Lutheran Churches where there was and still is a strong sense of 
belonging to a historic Christian community. The second convic- 
tion—and this was particularly true of those Protestant denomina- 
tions most influenced by liberalism—was that students should be 
permeated by “‘Christian ideals and principles.” Thus, in both 
cases, the task was envisioned in terms of committing students to 
Christianity rather than of forming Christian students. A student 
who is a Christian, as W. A. Visser ’t Hooft has repeatedly urged, 
is not the same as a Christian student. In this striking distinction is 
revealed the heart of the problem as Christianity in its relation to 
the university world enters into its fourth phase. In other words 
the fundamental question now becomes: How can the Church 
help students to discover their Christian vocations as students in 
the sphere of “secular” scholarship itself? The task is not an easy 
one. God’s call in this realm is particularly addressed to the Anglo- 
Saxon student world that it should continue the task so ably 
begun by the French Studént Christian Movement before the out- 
break of the present war. To quote from the report of their confer- 
ence on “The Christian University,” held at Biévres: : 

+ +. essential as it is, it is not enough to proclaim the Gospel to students and 
to glorify God in the University; but the university itself must also glorify God, 
and our studies must themselves be offered as a sacrifice to God. Too often we 
are content to say and to go on saying that science and philosophy and all the 
wisdom of this world cannot bring salvation to man. We ought to tell the 
university that it does not know—how indeed should it know?—what it means 
for a Christian to be a scholar, to be a philosopher, to be an historian. We have 
no difficulty in renouncing all such heresies as “Christian” science or “Chris- 
tian” philosophy; but we cannot give up seeking what God demands of us 
when he gives us a vocation to be scholars, philosophers, and historians. 

That the situation is not hopeless is evident from the fact that 
many Christian such an apparently unlikely sphere as 


psychological medicine have seen the problem involved andgare 
making vigorous attempts to bring together Christian insights 
into human nature and the findings of modern psychology.*? 
Some of them would urge that the Christian psychiatrist goes out 
of his field if he seeks to give any religious orientation to the patient 
and that his task, like that of any other psychiatrist, is only “to 
open the eyes of,the patient and not to turn his head in any par- 
ticular ecclesiastical direction.”4? Others would claim that this 
distinction is untenable in theory and impossible in practice. 
Within the sphere of surgery they would argue that the distinction 
between what the surgeon does for the patient’s body and what he 
might do as a person for the patient is certainly possible but that 
in psychiatry the whole human self is under treatment and that 
therefore the psychologist’s personal attitude toward life and con- 
sequently his religious convictions (or lack of them) must affect 
the very methods of treatment he uses. In the words of William 
Brown,** “sooner or later the patient asks for a philosophy of life. 
He or she does not call it that but so it is.” : 

In France, André Schlemmer, from the standpoint of a Calvinist 
theology, has worked with considerable success at this problem. 
He has presented his conclusions in his The Crisis in the World of 
Thought. In it he considers the relation between faith and know- 
ledge, and analyses the Christian doctrine of the human mind and 
the human will, as it sheds light on modern psychological practice, 
by relating his profession as a medical man to the basic Christian 
presuppositions for human living. He is at his best in showing that 
the conclusions of recent psychology reinforce—if it were needed — 
the Judaic-Christian conception of man. The fact that we are not 
led to our conclusions by the reasons we assert but rather look 
around for reasons to justify our conclusions simply means that 
man’s sin infects his thinking. The fact that our feelings and 
attitudes come out of the unconscious self into our consciousness 
only in so far as they are acceptable to our self-esteem, simply 
indicates that man’s sin is an aspect of the will which can never 

41 Foremost in this field are the research groups of the National Council for Medical 
and Pastoral Co-operation. 

42 Leonard F. Browne of the Tavistock Clinic, London, in a conversation with the 
author. Dr. Browne added that the personal religious conviction of the psychologist 
will unconsciously affect some patients even though he makes no deliberate attempt 
to direct them into any particular religious outlook. 

43 In a conversation with the writer. See also Dr. Brown’s Mind, Medicine and 
Metaphysics (Oxford, 1936). 

- 4487 hy Pauline de Merz (London. 1040). 


be completely eliminated since it is poisoned at its source.té 
Schlemmer finely summarizes his conclusions in the following 

The whole crisis in the realm of thought is not a crisis in science, sanity of 
opinion and ethics. It is not even a philosophical crisis. Jt is a religious crisis. 
Underlying the whole crisis in the world of thought is a judgment of God concerning 
man’s use of his intelligence. Everything is called into question again, and the 
methods that have inspired occidental thought through the last centuries have 
revealed their common vice, the worm that was in the fruit—“‘anthropocentrism.” 
Since man has pretended to be the centre, judge, reason and goal of everything, 
he has destroyed himself. When he sets himself as self-sufficient, free and 
autonomous—in one word, “as a God,” he is going back, becoming lower than 
an animal. 

In the second chapter he deals with the problem, “How is it 
possible to create or restore a right way of thinking, and to lay the 
foundations of sound intellectual construction?” Here Schlemmer 
takes a radical departure from the usual fundamentalist philoso- 
phy, which like all other scholastic systems, ancient and modern, 
whether Thomist, Marxist or Nazi, has an answer to every ques- 
tion, The Word of God, not any system, whether liberal or funda- 
mentalist, which seeks to express it, is alone sovereign and final. 
The author then shows, within this context of God’s sovereignty, 
that even in the realm of the intellect the appropriate human 
attitude is one of faith, and by faith he does not mean credulity; 
on the contrary he argues that faith is that which gives reason its 
final certitude. 

In the last chapter, Faith and Medicine, Schlemmer develops his 
view of the revealed Word of God with special references to his 
own vocation in the field of medical psychology. 

All vocation comes from the Almighty and forbids the separation, disastrous 
for the religious as for the moral life, of the supernatural from the natural, the 
sacred from the profane, or of the spiritual from the practical life.47 . 

Hence a Christian physician is not a Christian man practising 
materialistic medicine but he, like any other Christian scholar 
must recognize that Christianity, if faithful to its origins, is a 
universal principle of thought with universal implications. 

45 In the words of, ‘Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately 
wicked; who can know it?” (xvii. 9). 

Pe ee ee er sh Seen oe 


What, therefore, is the conclusion of the matter? It is that the 
Christian Churches need a fellowship of lay theologians or 
Christian scholars who would view it as part of their vocation as 
a Christian intelligentsia to create a Christian world view within 
which the conclusions of the specialized subjects of the university 
curriculum could be given their ultimate meaning in terms of a 
specifically Christian philosophy of man and of his relation to the 
historical process. The task is one in which all Christian scholars 
whether they be natural scientists, social scientists, historians, 
philosophers, literary critics and the like are called to co-operate. 
It is nothing less than the creation of a Christian speculum meniis, 
which, on the one hand, avoids the Charybdis of the liberal con- 
ception of the complete autonomy of each academic subject and, 
on the other, the Scylla of totalitarian scholasticisms in which facts 
have to be twisted into a dogmatic framework. No one who knows 
the history of the medieval university under the complete control 
of ecclesiastics or of the modern university under the domination 
of the single political party in totalitarian countries will wish to 
deny that freedom and independence in teaching and research 
must be conserved. Neither can it be disputed that one task of the 
university is to witness to the value of the independent and critical 
pursuit of truth as such and not to buttress the doctrines of political 
parties or religious bodies. The university, in fact, betrays its mis- 
sion as soon as it claims to teach final and ultimate truth in the 
form of scholastic, whether Thomistic or Marxist or Fascist, 
systems which have no place for new facts. We may see “as 
through a glass darkly” but of one fact we can be certain. It is 
that any intellectual synthesis which declines to believe that “the 
Lord hath yet more light and truth to break forth from His Word” 
is intellectual idolatry. 

Such a task ‘can only be accomplished by a world-wide move- 
ment of Christian scholars who can follow the trails blazed ahead 
by pioneers in this field as apparently diverse as William Temple 
and Reinhold Niebuhr; Jacques Maritain and André Philip; V. A. 
Demant and J. H. Oldham; T. S. Eliot and Nicolas Berdyaev; 
Paul Tillich and W. A. Visser ’t Hooft. The names of these 
scholars, born as they were in’ America, France, England, Scot- 
land, Russia, Germany and Holland, are a significant reminder 
that the same economic forces which have shattered the system of 
Ps | SPCR + ae Ferg SE OOS ae, |e ee Te aS AT aN eye: Mee) hy 


the new intellectual synthesis can be worked out. The branches of 
the Christian Church to which they belong; Lutheran, Roman: 
Catholic, Calvinist, Anglican, Presbyterian and Russian Orthodox 

—and to remember the extensive measure of their agreement in 

diagnosing the world’s ills—indicate that the traditional theo- 

logical lines of demarcation are as demodé as the historical causes 

which led to their erection. The academic subjects which they 

represent: political theory, literature, philosophy, law, sociology 

economics and theology, are a reminder that Christian teachers of 
secular subjects have a peculiar responsibility, since what is now 

at stake is not so much which school of traditional theology is the 

true one but what is the relevance of theologically based presup- 

positions to the so-called secular subjects when these subjects— 
making the “scientific” model of knowledge their idol—have 

vainly sought to be “‘presuppositionless.”” : 

There is little reason to expect much guidance from the ranks 
of the usual type of Anglo-Saxon academic theologians either in 
that part of the work of intellectual reconstruction which involves 
the attempt to introduce Christian presuppositions into the study 
of, say, literature, history and the social sciences, or in that part 
which seeks to relate the conclusions of the specialized subjects of 
a university curriculum to a theological understanding of man and 
his destiny. The irrelevance of much that passes for theology in 
Great Britain is well symbolized in a recent book, The Study of 
Theology.** In spite of an explicit claim by the editor, K. E. Kirk, 
the Bishop of Oxford, to the effect that, among other things, the 
book deals with the relation between Christianity and “the sur- 
rounding world of science, philosophy, history and secular 
thought and knowledge in general,” one searches its Pages in vain 
for an awareness of the fact that theology is anything other than 
the investigation of the history of doctrine or the literary study of 
the Bible or the ecclesiastical aspects of history. In short, we fail 
to find any recognition of the need for the Christian equivalent to 
the intellectual synthesis of biology, economics, psychology, 
philosophy, and the like, which the Marxists or the Nazis readily 
furnish, in terms of their distinctive and calamitous _presupposi- 
tions, for any student who asks for it. ° : 

In the United States. the situation is little more helpful. Most 

-Protestant theologians vainly seek to make theology ‘‘scientific” 
by cutting it free from metaphysics and history and restine it on 


religious experience. Theology then becomes thinking about our 
nice feelings rather than thinking about God and His relation to 
man and the world. Among those who have not thus bowed the 
knee to the Baal of “science” the situation is not much better since 
they generally relapse into the two errors of the medieval world 
view. The first is illustrated by the words of a distinguished bishop 
who dissuaded a student from his conviction that his vocation as a 
Christian was to become a university teacher, and instead per- 
suaded him to seek ordination on the grounds that “a Christian 
professor uses the margins of his time in doing God’s work whereas 
the Christian minister uses his full time.”” The second error is well 
illustrated by a description of some of the members of the Guild 
of Churchman-Scholars in a recent issue of the Church Review. It 
reads they ‘“‘are convinced that the historic Christian faith has its 
proper evidence as valid for religion as naturalistic evidence is 
valid for secular knowledge.’’4® This of course is strictly true but 
too often it means that the paramount problem for University 
teachers here and now, viz. the bearing of Christian thought on 
secular knowledge, is ignored and the teacher is'left to live in a 
_bi-verse and not a universe; in short he becomes a Christian 

However, to inveigh against theologians is not to condemn 
theology. In fact the foregoing argument is a plea that theology 
should be restored to its rightful position as queen of the sciences 
in the original sense-of the term “science.” Such a restoration 
would begin with a thorough-going criticism of the self-sufficient, 
scientific-capitalist outlook which has moulded the thinking of the 
modern world. The Nazis and the Communists are no more free 
from that domination than the bourgeois plutocracies; it is no 
better from the Christian perspective to worship race or class than 
idolatrously to elevate “business is business” into an eternal 
principle. The Christian intellectual takes his stand on the con- 
viction that lesser loyalties, like class, race, nation, science or 
Church, must take their place as subservient to that which trans- 
cends and judges them all—-God. 

To argue thus is not to suggest that theology, as man’s attempt _ 
to understand God’s self-revelation, can dictate conclusions 
throughout the whole realm of scholarship and learning. That was 
the cardinal error of medieval ecclesiastics; the early scientists, 
economists, philosophers, and historians rightly rebelled against 


such domination. Neither theology nor theologians but God is 
sovereigh. Yet theology as a subject must have its place in any 
future speculum mentis for there will always be need for the critical 
study of the Bible as the record of God’s revelation to His chosen 
people and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. However, 
theology in this sense, unlike its counterpart whether Catholic or 
Protestant in the past, must be related to and be illuminated by 
the wider setting of man’s knowledge of the universe in which it 
will occupy its appropriate position but also-to which it gives 
ultimate meaning. : 

To sum up the purpose of such an order of Christian scholars 
we can say: the crisis is a world crisis and therefore such a move- 
ment must be envisaged in world terms. Its purpose would be to 
enlist Christian scholars throughout the world in a four-fold task: 

1. To discover an answer not only to the question: “How can we as indi- 
viduals serve God in the University?” but also to the question: “How can 
the liberal democratic University itself be a witness to the Glory of God?” 
To discover the meaning of Christian vocation for a man or woman who 
is a chemist, sociologist, historian, psychologist, mathematician and the 

3. To apply Christian criteria in working out the presuppositions which are 
relevant to the study of individual academic subjects and to discover the 
place in a Christian speculum mentis of the knowledge given in such 
specialized subjects. 

4- To work towards an intellectual synthesis for the twentieth century which, 
as an interpretation of human life and destiny, can be set over against 
the positivistic, the Marxist, the liberal humanitarian Weltanschauungen 
now current in the liberal democratic world. Such a speculum mentis will 
be dialectical between the two poles of unity and freedom. Like Scholas- 
ticism it will derive its unity from its theological basis which will provide 
its presuppositions. But it will differ from Scholasticism in that the 
specifically theological sections of such a map will not determine the 
nature and character of the ‘“‘non-theological” sections. God, not 
theology, or any other system is sovereign. 


50 The pages of many scientists who are Christians often express hints of an uncon- 
scious desire to relate scientific research to a cause which is literally “‘trans-scientific”’; 
thus a leading spectroscopist writes: ‘ ing scientific journals is sometimes hard 
work, but it frequently happens that the lifeless perusal of an apparently dull memoir 
is interrupted by a sudden awakening of interest; we realize the boldness of the 
thought and the refinement of the techniaue which lie hehind the wack onde ono 


ig ha bibliography is far from exhaustive. It merely seeks to indicate the 
more important books that are relevant to the problem with which this 
book deals. There are some serious omissions. This is inevitable since, in a sense, 
the whole of human knowledge is relevant to the fate of the university in the 
modern world. A more conscious criterion of selection, however, has its origin 

in the fact that I have deberately restricted myself to those books and journals 
to which I personally have had access. ASN 

Basic to the discussion of the impact of the contemporary crisis on any 
institution in Western culture—be it the family, the university, the economic 
order, or the state—is an analysis of the crisis itself. Each of us must work out 
an instrumental analysis which seems adequate to the task of disentangling the 
many strands that make up the tangle of our present chaos. 

‘Among the wealth of material that I have found illuminating I would single 
out the following: 

Reinhold Niebuhr: 

Reflections on the End of an Era (London, 1934) 

Beyond Tragedy (London, 1938) 

Christianity and Power Politics (New York, 1940) 

The Nature and Destiny of Man, Vols. 1 and 2 (London, 1941 and. 1943) 
Nicolas Berdyaev: 

The End of Our Time (London, 1995) 

Christianity and the Class War (London, 1933) 

The Bourgeois Mind (London, 1934) 

Paul Tillich: 

Interpretation of History (London, 1936) 
Jacques Maritain: 

True Humanism (London, 1938) 

Karl Mannheim: 

Man and Society in an Age of Reconstruction (London, 940) — 
Diagnosis of Our Time (London, 1943) 

Among less well known books in this field the silowing should also be men- 

- The United States and Civilization by John U. Nef (Cambridge, 1942). This 
book, by a distinguished economic historian, gives an excellent evaluation of 
contemporary civilization, considered from the standpoints of art, education, | 
science, religion, politics and economics. 

The Religious Situation by Paul Tillich (New York, 1932). It is impossible to 
exaggerate the importance of this volume, which first appeared in Germany in 
1926 under the title Die religiise Lage der Gegenwart. In it Tillich explores the 
whole world of culture—science, art, philosophy, politics, education—and inter- 


prets the religious values for which opposing movements stand. The translator, 
- H, Richard Niebuhr, contributes an important and illuminating preface for 

Anglo-Saxon readers. : 

Our Prodigal Son Culture by Hugh S. Tigner (Chicago, 1940) is an all too brief 
analysis of the sickness of an acquisitive and “scientific” society. See especially 
Chapter 6, The Lyrical Modern Epoch, and Chapter 9, The Superstition of Science. 

The Religious Prospect by V. A. Demant (London, 1939) is an “essay in 
theological prophecy.” This book gives an analysis of current totalitarianism 
and the plight of liberalism with a penetration that places the book among the 
most important of our age for all who seck to understand the problem of 
human existence. 

On to Orthodoxy by D. R. Davies (London, 1939) is a brilliant analysis of the 
collapse of the liberal ‘‘dogma” written by a man who is both a musical critic 
and a political theorist in terms of his intellectual pilgrimage through pacifism 
and Marxism to a specifically Christian Philosophy of man, history and society. 

Religion in an Age of Secularism by George F. Thomas (Princeton, 1940) can 
be obtained by writing to the Secretary, Princeton University, Princeton, 
N.J. This inaugural lecture of the Professor of Religious Thought in Princeton 
gives an incisive critique of the presuppositions of secularist thinking and its 
influence on culture, 

Speculations by T. E.. Hulme (London, 1923). There is an irony which Hulme 
would have been the first to admire, had he lived, in the publication of his 
literary remains in the International Library of Psychology, Philosophy and Scientific 
Method. Hulme was one of the first to recognize that we are at the end of a way 
of thought which, basing itself on scientific method, has dominated the 
Western world since the Renaissance. Hulme was at the same time a poet, an 
art critic and a philosopher, and this collection of essays shows that when he was 
killed in action at Nieuport in the First World War, the world of learning 
suffered a loss comparable only to the death of Moseley, the discoverer of 
atomic numbers, at Gallipoli. 

Hulme’s line of thought has been presented somewhat more systematically 
by Michael Roberts in his T. E. Hulme (London, 1938). Roberts, who is a 
mathematician turned poet and literary critic, has independently carried on 
Hulme’s approach to modern culture in his The Modern Mind (London, 1937) 
and in The Recovery of the West (London, 1941). 

It is an ironic commentary on liberal rationalism that it has so largely 
ignored the work of the one thinker, L. T. Hobhouse, who might have saved 
it from its intellectual bankruptcy, However, Hobhouse’s scholarship in 
sociology, anthropology, history, and comparative psychology was too massive 
for the word-spinning philosophers; his sense of the importance of epistemology 
and ethics separated him from the fact-loving natural and social scientists, 
while his keen appreciation of the reality of evil and the penetration of his 
thinking was too much for the rest of the professional intelligentsia, who pre- 
ferred the more easily derived and more comforting generalizations of H. G. 
Wells et al. : 

Hobhouse’s synthesis of human knowledge is set forth in his quadrilogy: 

The Metaphysical Theory of the State (London, 1918) , 


Social Development (London, 1924) ae: 
Morris Ginsberg in L. T. Hobhouse: His Life and Work (London, 1931) gives a 
masterly presentation of Hobhouse’s thought. _ 

The above “synoptic” studies of Western civilization should be supplemented 
by specific attention to the economic and political development of the modern 
world. From among a spate of material the following can be-singled out: 

Government and the Governed by R. H. S. Crossman (London, 1939) can be 
recommended to all who look for a signpost in secking to understand the 
political and economic aspects of the modern world as it has grown up and as it 
is to-day. It gives an excellent bibliography. The author was an Oxford 
University teacher, who has been engaged for some years in municipal and 
national politics. 

The Rise of Liberalism: the Philosophy of a Business Civilisation (London, 1936) 
by H. J. Laski gives a brilliant, and indeed indispensable, analysis of the 
economic and political roots of the modern mind. It should, however, be read 
with caution since Laski has never really integrated the liberal and Marxist 
elements in his thinking. Moreover, he has no adequate understanding of either 
the significance of the natural sciences or the role of religion in the life of 

The End of Laissez-faire (London, 1926) by J. M. Keynes. Although pub- 
lished nearly twenty years ago this lecture reads like a contemporary essay. 

For a treatment of the influence of the scientific movement in the creation of 
the modern mind Science and the Modern World by A. N. Whitehead (Cambridge, 
1925) is unsurpassed. 

The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science by E. A. Burtt (London, 
1925) is also indispensable. In so far as the rise of modern science can be 
studied in terms of the history of ideas, out of relation to their social context, 
this book gives a brilliant exposition of the fundamental concepts which 
governed the thought of the founders of the classical scientific. scheme— 
‘Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Boyle and Newton. 

Among histories of science proper, the most useful single yolume treatments 
of this subject are: 

A History of Science and ts Relations with Philosophy and Religion by W. C. D. 
Dampier-Whetham. (Cambridge, 1927) and A Short History of Science to the 
Nineteenth Century by Charles Singer (Oxford, 1941). 

For more exhaustive but as yet uncompleted studies two works stand in a 
class by themselves: . 

(1) Lynn Thorndike: 4 History of Magic and Experimental Science. Vols. 1 to 6 
have been published (Oxford, 1923-41) taking the story to the Seventeenth 

(2) George Sarton: Introduction to the History of Science, Vols. 1 and 2 have 
been published (Cambridge, 1927 and 1931), and Vol. 3, which deals with 
Science and Learning in the Fourteenth Century, is in preparation. 

Abraham Wolf has performed a service of pioneer importance in relating the 
progress of science to technical discoveries and inventions in his two volumes: 
History of Science, Technology and Philosophy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries 
(London, 1939) and History of Science, Technology and Philosophy in the Eighteenth 
Century (London, 1939)- : 


The history of science was given a completely different turn in Anglo-Saxon 
countries when Science at the Crossroads was published in England in 1931. This 
book consists of the papers presented to the International Congress of the 
History of Science and Technology, held in London during the summer &f that 
year, by the delegates from the U.S.S.R. However, Science and Social Welfare in 
the Age of Newton by G. N. Clark (Oxford, 1937) should be consulted first since 
it is the best introduction to the historical study of the relation between the 
natural sciences and society.” 

The study of the relation.between science and society in the contemporary 
scene was stimulated by tle publication of The Frustration of Science by Frederick 
Soddy et al. (London, 1935). The authors of this book, a group of,eminent 
British experts in chemistry, physics, agriculture, aviation and medicine, give 
an interesting survey of the subject described in the title. The book suffers 
from a somewhat naive acceptance of the analysis of Fascism current among 
Marxists in the middle years of the last decade. 

The most important book in this field is undoubtedly Social Function of Science 
by J. D. Bernal (London, 1939). Even when allowance has been made for the 
author’s somewhat uncritical attitude to Soviet Russia and the Stalinist view 
of Marxism, the importance of this book to all who seek to evaluate the role 
which science plays in modern society cannot be over-emphasized. Its author, 
who was made a Fellow of the Royal Society at the very early age of thirty-six 
for his research work in the field of crystallography, covers, using a veritable 
wealth of factual material, such subjects as the historical relations between 
science and society, the organization of scientific research throughout the world, 
the place of science in education, and its relation to industry, agriculture and 

For a valuable critique of Bernal’s main thesis by the distinguished Hun- 
garian chemist, M. Polyani, see Chapter 1 (The Rights and Duties of Science) of 
his Contempt of Freedom (London, 1940). Polyani’s criticism, however, loses a 
good deal of its force by its repeated assumption of the very point at issue, 
viz. whether in working out an adequate sociology of science it is valid to 
regard “‘science” basically as a body of ideas out of relation to the social 
application of these ideas. . 

The Social Relations of Science by J. G. Crowther (London, 1940) should also 
be mentioned. However, a more accurate title would have been “A Social 
History of Science” since its chief value lies in its presentation of the history of 
science in terms of a view of history which takes economic, social and technical 
facts seriously. The Scientific Life by John R. Baker (London, 1940) should be 
consulted for a useful but in many respects most misleading attempt to dis- 
prove the line of argument presented by J. G. Crowther and J. D. Bernal and 
for a re-statement of the theory that science progresses best if it is allowed to 
develop along {aissez-faire lines. 

For an excellent bibliography of material in this field see the article Readings 
in the Interconnection of Science and Society—A Bibliography in Amer. J. Physics, 
June, 1942, p. 157. 

Perhaps the best introduction to the problem of the social function of the 
intellectual in modern society is The Revolt of the Masses by José Ortega y Gasset 
(London, 1932). This disturbing book diagnoses the sickness of Western civiliza- 


the supreme illustration of “‘mass-man” (in Ghapter 12, The Barbarism of 
Specialization) can be read with equanimity only by those scientists who 
unconsciously exemplify the author’s thesis. : 

The Treason of the Intellectuals by Julien Benda (New York, 1928) is one of 
those books which mark an epoch. I have attempted to estimate its import- 
ance on pp. 38 ff. above. 

The Social Role of the Man of Knowledge by Florian Znaniecki (Oxford, 1941) 
is a good introduction to the study of the sociology of knowledge (viewed as an 
empitical study) in terms of a consideration of the function of sages, techno- 
logists and inventors in ancient and modern society. 

The Academic Man by Logan Wilson (New York, 1942) is a useful account of 

. the sociology of university teaching in the United States, written in terms of the 
academic hierarchy, status and function. It suffers from its jack of an adequate 
treatment of the university in its relation to society as whole. Like The Social 
Role of the Man of Knowledge this book needs to be supplemented by the more 
analytical approach to the problem of the relation between knowledge and 
society so well exemplified in Karl Mannheim’s pioneer work Ideology and Utopia 
(London, 1936). 

To all who wish 10 keep abreast of recent advances in educational theory 
and practice two year-books are invaluable. The first is the Educational Year- 
book of the International Institute of Teachers College (Columbia University) and 
the other is The Yearbook of Education published for the Institute of Education 
in the University of London. Many of the articles in the latter volume have 
been re-printed in pamphlet form. Of particular importance is A Review of Edu- 
cational Thought by Sir Fred Clarke and others (London, 1936). It is exception- 
ally useful as a survey of philosophies of education in Great Britain, the United 
States, and pre-Pétain France. Another valuable reprint is Educational Tradi- 
tions in the British Commonwealth of Nations and the United States of America by 
Nicholas Hans (London, 1938). It describes the educational traditions of the 
English-speaking peoples in a series of chapters which approach the question 
from the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Puritan and secular angles and it has 
a valuable concluding chapter on The Resultant Variations of Eduéational 
Systems. Education and Social Change by Sir Fred Clarke (London, 1940) is an 

* epoch-making review of the way in which English education has been histori- 
cally determined; it furnishes many insights into a similar consideration of the 
situation in the United States and the British Dominions. The Aims of Education 
(London, 1929) by A. N. Whitehead is a collection of essays which provides 
any UMiversity teacher, who wishes to work out the wider responsibilities of his 
task, with an excellent introduction to the problems. A Modern Philosophy of 
Education (London, 1929) by Godfrey H. Thomson is-a good introductory 
treatment of the foundations of educational theory. Its author writes from an 
intimate knowledge—both as parent and professor of education—of the 
educational systems of England, America and Scotland. What is Education? 
(London, 1942) by M. Reeves and J. Drewett is a brilliant answer to the 
quéstion expressed in the title. The most important volume on education from 
a Christian perspective, published within recent years, is, undoubtedly, 
Church, Community and State in Relation to Education (London, 1938) by Sir Fred 
Clarke and others. 


1948) is a brilliant analysis of the educational problem inherent in the present 
crisis of Western civilization: 

For those. who wish to study the cleavage in contemporary philosophies of 
education in the United States Can Religious Education Be Christian? ‘by Harrison 
§. Elliott (New York, 1940) is of particular importance. For a brilliant critique 
of the point of view expressed by Elliott (or of secular versions of the same 
philosophy) see Faith.ond Nurture (New York, 1941) by H. Shelton Smith. A 
comprehensive survey ‘by Harrison S. Elliott of the problems arising from a 
consideration of the relation between Christianity and Higher Education 
appears under the title, Suggested Syllabus on Religion in Higher Education 
in Religious Education for January, 1942. It has been reprinted as a pam- 
phlet by the Religious Education Association, 59 East Van Buren St., 
Chicago. . 

On the history of university education in medieval times Unjversities of Europe 
in the Middle Ages by Hastings Rashdall is the classic work. It originally appeared 
in 1895 but a revised edition in three volumes and edited by F. M. Powicke 
and A. B, Emden was published in 1936. Rashdall treated the same subject 
in a less exhaustive fashion in an article in the Cambridge Medieval History (Cam- 
bridge, 1939), Volume 6, Chapter 17. An excellent brief treatment of the 
origins of the universities can also be found in The Rise of the Universities by C. H. 
Haskins (New York, 1931). Perhaps the most useful single volume is The 
Medieval Universities by Nathan Schachner (London, 1938). 
_ _ On the history of university education in the United States the three standard 

books are A History of Higher Education in America by C. F. Thwing (London, 
1906), Foundations of American Colleges and Universities before the Civil War by 
Donald Tewksbury (New York, 1932) and The Growth of American Higher 
Education by Elbert V. Wills (Philadelphia, 1936). 

Two excellent books on the university in the modern world have been 
sponsored by the International Student Service. The first, The University in a 
Changing World, edited by Walter Kotschnig and Elined Prys (London, 1932), 
presents a series of authoritative surveys of the idea of a university in pre-Nazi 
Germany, France, Great Britain, Soviet Russia and Fascist Italy. The 
introductory chapter by Kotschnig and a closing chapter by Dietrich von 
Hildebrand on The Catholic Conception of a University are still of undoubted 
contemporary importance. The second, The University Outside Europe, edited by 
Edward Bradby (London, 1939)sis a supplementary volume to The University in 
@ Changing World and it consists of descriptive essays on university institutions 
in the United States, the Near East and the Far East. A. M. Carr-Shunders 
has an illuminating article, The Function of Universities in the Modern World, 
in the Sociological Review, Vol. 32, p. 137 f. (London, 1940). 

A useful comparative study of American and European universities can be 
found in Universities, American, English and German by Abraham Flexner (New 
York, 1930). However, as a serious contribution to the problem of the future of 
the American university, this book is vitiated by a most romantic estimate of 
the (pre-Nazi) German university and, still more so, of the English university. 
It is difficult for an Englishman, who, like the present writer, has been privi- 
leged to see at first hand, for example, Yale University, Toronto University and 
the University of California, to take seriously a book which tells him that the 
leading British universities are “incomparably superior to anything which has 


yet been created in America.” A valuable commentary on the American state 
university and its relation to democracy can be found in The American State 
University by Norman Foerster (Oxford, 1937). A most complete survey of the 
American college and its place in the system of higher education is given in 
The College Charts its Course by R. Freeman Butts (London, 1939). Parts 1, 2 and 
3 diseuss the roots of American college education in the classics and the con- 
troversy on the insertion of the sciences in the liberal arts curriculum, the 
impact of the enlightenment and the influence of the German university 
system respectively. Part 4 deals with current controversy. A matchless 
bibliography is provided. Of undoubted importance in any discussion of the 
university in America are two volumes by President R. M. Hutchins: The 
Higher Learning in America (New Haven, 1936) and No Friendly Voice (Cambridge 
1936). Among the many replies to Hutchins’ diagnosis and remedy for the ills 
which beset the American university, see in particular The Higher Learning in a 
Democracy (New York, 1937) by H. D. Gideonse. 

On British universities to-day, two brief but excellent analyses are of first- 
class importance. The Universities in Transformation by Adolph Lowe (London, 
1940) gives, in terms of the relativity of educational thought and practice to 
change in the economic and social order, a penetrating analysis of what is 
happening in the British universities. Blind Guides by David M. Paton (London, 
1938) consists of an impressionistic study of life in a British university by an 
extremely well-informed young English writer, now working among Chinese 
students. A Student's View of the Universities (London, 1943) by Brian Simon and 
Red Brick University (London, 1943) by Bruce Truscot each present, from the 
standpoint of a student and a professor respectively, many shrewd insights into 
what is now happening in the British university world. However, they both 
put more faith in the reform of the mechanics of administration and teaching 
than the plight of the present university world appears to justify. Judging from 
the rest of his work (war conditions have prevented me obtaining a copy of his 
book), F. R. Leavis’ Education and the University (London, 1943) should not be 
missed. For a piece of pioneer work on the sociology of education as a whole, 
Education in Transition (London, 1943) by H. C. Dent should be closely con- 

Any attempt to understand the Nazi university will be doomed to failure 
unless it is preceded by a recognition of all the factors that led to Hitler’s 
régime. The best survey of this question is Why Hitler Came to Power (New York, 
1938) by Theodore Abel. This scholarly analysis of the life histories of six 
hundred Nazis deserves a title rather more commensurate with its importance 
to serious students of the subject. See also the article The Nazi Party: Its 
Leadership and Composition by Hans Gerth in the American Journal of Sociology, 
January, 1941. 

Among the more serious books which seek to give a synoptic picture of Nazi 
Germany, The Nazi State by William Ebenstein (New York, 1943) should be 
singled out. This book needs to be supplemented by The War against the West 
by Aurel Kolnai (London, 1938) which gives.a most exhaustive account of the 
Nazi challenge to the spiritual, intellectual, political and social foundations of 
Western civilization. The author’s insight is evident when one reads ‘“‘the 
central idea of an ‘understanding’ with Nazi Germany is fundamentally futile 

pita Se ies oy 


very ideas of understanding, equal dignity, legal order, and a common rational 
medium of humanity. The greatest danger for the West is to lull itself into a 
sense of security by gestures of complacency, renunciation or friendship, which 
at best can never be more than a technical truce”? and then remembers that the 
book was written before Hitler’s entry into Austria. 

For the best brief and yet well-documented description of the Nazi and 
Fascist attack dn education throughout occupied Europe see Chapter 2 of 
Slaves Need No Leaders (New York, 1943) by Walter M. Kotschnig. See also 
Comparative Education (Bloomington, Ill., 1941), pp. 139-250, for a good factual 
description of Nazi and Fascist education. The most exhaustive survey yet 
published of the Nazi educational system as a whole is The Educational Philosophy 
of National Socialism by G. F. Kneller (Oxford, 1941). See in particular the 
section Irrationalism and the University, pp. 219-29. Education in Germany by 
Alina M. Lindegren (U.S. Office of Education, Washington, 1938) should also 
be consulted. (See in particular Chapters 5, 6, 7.) Among the many articles 
that have been published within recent years on education in Nazi Germany 
the following are perhaps the most important: Psychological and Other 
Aspects of Recent Tendencies in German Education by Adam Thorburn in the 
British Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 5, pp. 117-36 (1935), German 
Education in 1936 by Lancelot Forster in The Nineteenth Century, Vol. 122, 
Pp. 447-61 (an excellent discussion of the place of the teacher in the Third 
Reich), and those in the Journal of Educational Sociology for November, 1939 
(Vol. 13, No. 3, New York). 

The German Universities and National Socialism (Cambridge, Mass., 1937) by 
E. Y. Hartshorne gives an excellent first-hand account of the impact of the Nazi 
movement on the life and thought of the German universities up to the end of 
1936. Its bibliography is particularly of value. 

These indispensable but impersonal accounts should be supplemented by the 
consultation of less academic but more sensational descriptions of the Nazi 
educational system. The most recent is Education for Death (London, 1941) by 
Gregor Ziemer, who, until well after the present war broke out was Director 
of the School for American Children in Berlin, in which capacity he had a first- 
class opportunity to see the nightmare resulting from the Nazi attempt to fulfil 
Hitler’s prophecy of some years ago: “I shall eradicate the thousands of years 
of human domestication. I want to see again in the eyes of youth the gleam of 
the beasts of prey. A youth will grow up before which the world will shrink.” 
School for Barbarians (London, 1939) by Erika Mann, and What Hitler Did to 
Us (London, 1938) by Eva Lips give a vivid account of. scholarship and learning 
in Nazi Germany, which, being written in terms of a personal record, are far 
more revealing than many more theoretical descriptions of the Nazi Gleich- 

As illustrations of Nazi thought exemplified in particular subjects, German 

_ Literature through Nazi Eyes (London, 1941) by H. G. Atkins is 2 revealing and 

well-documented study of the Nazi re-valuation of German literature, past and, 
present, while R. J. Baker gives an illuminating study of Nazi thinking in the 
sphere of the social sciences in an article in Sociological Review (London) for 
January, 1939, Vol. 31, pp 85 f. Of particular interest is the volume A New 
Social Philosophy (Oxford, 1937) by Werner Sombart (English translation by 


Karl F. Geiser of Deutscher Sozialismus). Every university teacher should read 
this book if he seeks to understand the mental processes of an eminent scholar 
who could make his peace with Nazi thought and yet not echo completely its’ 
incredible absurdities. See also the same author’s shorter volume: Weltan- 
schauung, Science and Economy (New York, '1939). 

Of authoritative Nazi expositions of their philosophy of education there is no 
lack. Dr. Frick, the Nazi Minister of the Interior, has issued an authoritative 
circular on the guiding ideas (Leitgedanken) for the teaching of history. Its 
official reference number is 3.3120-22.6 and the document is published (in 
translation) in Nature (London), pp. 298 f,, Vol. 133. National Socialism 
and Science is a speech by the Reich Minister for Education, Rust, and it is 
published in The University Review, Vol. 9 (November, 1936), pp. 39-42 (trans- 
lation by H. N. Gaitskell)..See also the articles: Educational Ideals of the 
German National Socialist Movement by Ministerialrat Dr. Joachim Haupt 
in The Yearbook of Education (London, 1935), The Conditions and Content of 
the New Order of German Education by P. Gerhard Grafe, Director of the 
German Academic’ Exchange Service, Berlin, in The Yearbook of Education 
(London, 1939), and German Higher Educetion and National Socialism by 
Wilhelm Reitz in Journal of Higher Education (Columbus, Ohio, 1934), Vol. 5, 
Pp. 407~13. 

It is revealing to compare any of the expositions of Nazi educational theory 
mentioned above with two similar articles which outline the pre-Hitler 
German approach to education. They are Education in Germany by Frau 
Ministerialrat Gertrud Baiimer in The Yearbook of Education (London, 1932), 
pp. 839 ff. and Germany by Robert Ulrich in The International Yearbook of 
Education (New York, 1936), pp. 339-61. 

Any study of education in Fascist Italy should begin with a consideration of 
Italian Fascism as a whole, conceived as a comprehensive philosophy of man, 
the state and the universe. Perhaps the best treatment of the subject is Goliath, 
the March of Fascism (London, 1938) by G. A. Borgese. Contemporary Thought of 

‘Italy (London, 1926) by A. Crespi also provides some excellent background 

On Fascist education itself, Making Fascists (Chicago, 1939) by H. W. 
Schneider and S. B. Clough is excellent for earlier developments. For a good 
account, written from a Fascist perspective, of the philosophy underlying the 
Fascist educational system see the article by E. Codignola in The International 
Yearbook (Columbia University, 1929), pp. 319-425. For a later treatment see 
New Education in Italy (New York, 1936) by S. F. Vanni. The Universities of Italy 
by “The Fascist University Group” (Bergamo, Instituto Italiano d’Arti 
Grafiche, 1934) is an elaborately produced and profusely illustrated “factual” 
review of the universities of Italy. However, as a source of insight into the 
Fascist universities, its value is in inverse proportion to its size and splendour. 

It is impossible to understand the Soviet educational system, and especially . 
Soviet universities, except in the light of the place which science plays in the 
thought and culture of the U.S.S.R. As background material for such a study 
and among the many books that seek to describe the Soviet Union, Soviet 
Labour and Industry ((London, 1942) by L. E. Hubbard should be mentioned. 
The book is recent and covers a much wider field than the title indicates. The 
author, who has travelled extensively and on many occasions in the Soviet 


Union, gives considerable space to a description of the institutions for higher 
education and the place of science in industry. 

Among more detailed treatments of science in the Soviet Union the following 
should be mentioned: 

, Scientist among the Soviets (New York and London, 1932) by Julian Huxley is 
an interesting collection of newspaper and magazine articles, describing the 
author’s experience (he was Secretary of the Zoological Society of London) 
during a tour of the Soviet Union in 1931. It gives little attention to the more 
theoretical aspects of the problem of Marxist institutions of learning. 

Soviet Science (London, 1936) by J. G. Crowther is a valuable though some- 
what uncritical description of organizations and institutions for research in the 
natural sciences in the Soviet Union. The author attempts to indicate the 
underlying Marxist philosophy of science in.a chapter on dialectical materi- 
alism and another on the history of science. Unfortunately they are too 
hurriedly written to be really valuable. : 

Science in Soviet Russia (London, 1942), edited by Joseph Needham and Jane 8. 
Davies, is a recent collection of short essays describing the state of research in 
physics, biology and agriculture in the U.S.S.R. 

Undoubtedly the most exhaustive account in English of the freedom of 
artistic expression and scientific inquiry in Russia which we have is an article 
with that title by Phillip E. Mosely in The Annals of the American Academy of 
Political and Social Science (Philadelphia, 1938), Vol. 200, pp. 2547. 

As background material for a study of Soviet education Youth in Soviet Russia 
(London, 1933) by Klaus Mehnert is an informing account of all phases of the 
influence of Communism on the youth of the U.S.S.R. Generally speaking, its 
author, a young Germaz, is critical of but sympathetic to the Soviet régime, 
The book contains an interesting description of the life, hostels and recreations 
of Soviet students in the institutions of higher learning. 

On education proper in the U.S.S.R. the following are important: 

Soviet Education: Some Aspects of Cultural Revolution (London, 1932) by R. D, 
Charques is the best brief account of the Soviet educational system, Its facts are 

" naturally now out-of-date but its analysis of the principles behind the system 
remains as valid as ever. : 

Changing Man: The Educational System of the U.S.S.R. (New York and London, 
1931) by Beatrice King is perhaps the most useful introduction to Soviet 
education, However, it is written from a liberal rationalist standpoint which 
Seems quite unaware of the Marxist rejection of its basic presuppositions. Its 
author is an English observer with an intimate knowledge of the Soviet Union 
and the Russian language. (See, in particular, Chapter 3, The Principles of 
Communist Education, Chapter 14, Higher Education, and Chapter 15, The 
Teaching Profession.) + 

Educational Policy in the Soviet Union (London, 1930) by N. Hans and S. Hessen 
is a valuable book, written by two Russian democrats, who left the U.S.S.R. 
after some years of experience under the Soviet system; Nicholas Hans had 
been Director of Education for the city of Odessa. The book has a good 
bibliography in both English and Russian. Chapter 12, Universities and other 
Higher Institutions, is of particular value. The situation in the Soviet Union 
has changed considerably since the book was written but Hans has kept up 

a ae 

ene Ee ree 


of Education (London). In Education in Soviet Russia (pp. 745 ff» 1933) he 
takes his exposition to the end of the First Five Year Plan and in an article 
under the same title in The Yearbook for 1935 (pp- 931 ff.) he describes the 
radical re-organisation of curricula and methods adopted in the period 1931- 
1934, See also The Yearbook for 1937 (pp. 783 f:) for an illuminating article 
from the orthodox Communist Party standpoint, Education in the U.S.S.R., 
“by M. Epstein, the Director of the Department of Social Education, Commis- 
sariat of Public Instruction, Moscow. It provides some painful illustrations of 
‘the lengths to which personal adulation of Stalin has gone. For a more lengthy 
treatment from this perspective see Science and Education in the U.S.S.R. (London, 
1935) by A. Pinkevich. This book is somewhat colourless but, in view of the 
position of the author (he is Director of the Research Institute of Scientific 
Pedagogy, Moscow), it is important as a description of the different phases of 
Soviet education from pre-school institutions for children and mothers to the 
university and adult education. The treatment of science is cursory and 
restricted to one chapter, which is unrelated to the rest of the book. The 
acceptance of dialectical materialism is explicitly stated but its.implicit relation 
to the factual parts of the book is not worked out. Pinkevich’s earlier volume, 
The New Education in the Soviet Republic (London, 1930), should also be consulted 
by those readers who wish to notice the evolution of Soviet educational policy. 

Two useful articles, under the title Education in the U.S.S.R., by J. P. 
MacColum appear in the Journal for Education for September and October 
(London), 1940 (Vol. 72, pp. 430 and 456). They give a brief statistical des- 
cription of Soviet education. (N.B. in the following issue, Beatrice King has 
contributed an informing letter in which she claims to have brought 
MacColum’s facts and figures up to date.) Another valuable article of 
general importance is Education in the U.S.S.R. by Johanson I. Zilberfarv. It 
appears in The Educational Yearbook for 1937 (pp. 476 f.)- The most recent 
accounts of Soviet education appear in Comparative Education (pp. 251-311) by 
Henry L. Smith and in Children in Soviet Russia by Deana Levin (Toronto, 1942). 

There is little material available in English on the Soviet university. There is, 
however, a very full article Higher Education in Soviet Russia and the New 
Student by Nucia L. Lodge in the Educational Yearbook for 1934, pp. 291-411. 

A most revealing article entitled The Teaching of History under Stalin by 
Paul Olberg appears in the Contemporary Review (London, 1937), Volume 155, 
pp. 464-9. It consists of an illuminating review of the School History of the 
Soviet Union, a standard textbook for use in the elementary schools of the Soviet 

Various references haye been given in Chapter VII to books which seek to 
interpret a particular body of knowledge in terms of Christian presupposition 
and to relate such a body of knowledge to a Christian world view. Among 
other books, however, which should be explicitly mentioned is Christian Dis- 
crimination (London, 1940) by George Every. This book is an important and all 
too brief pioneer account of the relevance of Christianity to esthetic, judgments 
in literature, music, art, furniture, etc. In the field of literature, Man and 
Literature (London, 1943) by Norman Nicholson and the Literary Outlook - 

nae pan ie or Oey oe ag, NE Rites CMe, te ERP PEE, MNES. Rey Bee 


and Art and Religion (London, 1924) by Percy Dearmer present classical studies 
of their subject material. Religion and Dramatic Art (London, 1927) by Spencer 
H, Elliott gives many suggestive ideas on the field covered by the title. For a 
learned collection of essays based upon an explicit Christian philosophy of 
law see The Judicial Office and Other Matters (London, 1943) by Sir Henry 

- Slesser. 


Only a selection of author references is given 

VIEW, 41, 177 f. 
American isolationism, 35 
society seen through Hollywood, 
universities, 22 f., 130, 196 ff., 211 
Aquinas, T., 63, 68 f., 82, go, 157, 163, 
Arabic science, 70 f. 
Archimedes, 52, 55, 123 
Aristocratic ideal in education, 23 f. 
Aristotle, 54 f-, 69, 75, 82, 158, 163 
Autonomy of religion, 188 f. 
of various activities, 182, 202 ff. 

_ Bacon, F., 60, 106 
Bacon, R., 50,58, 184 
Baker, J. R.,°34, 209 
Benda, J., 38 ff. 98,210 
Benedictine influence on science, 51 
Berdyaev, N., 188, 202, 206 
Bernal, F. D., 345 130, 141, 209 
Biology and Marxism, 155 f. 
and politics, 42 f. 
and Utopia, 95 
Boyle, R., 27 
Buddhism, 52, 78 

Calvin, F., 63, 65 f,, 182 
Cambridge, 20, 24, 30, 44, 65, 196 
Capitalism, 16, 22 f., 65 ff, 76, 117, 
125, 138, 141 f., 166, 182 
Causation, efficient, 82 f., 103 f- 
final—see Teleology. . 
Chaos and order, 98 f. 
China, science and scholasticism, 50, 
65, 69 f. 
Christianity and economics, 186 
and scholarship, 184 f., 199, 202 ff. 
and science, 51 ff. 
Judao-Christian tradition, 179 ff, 

Clarke, Sir F., 15 n., 21, 193 f. 
Classless society, 117, 147 f. 
Comfort, 95 
Communism. See Marxism. 
Comte, A., 82, 108 f. 
Conviction, lack of, 20 ff. 
Crowther, F. G., 58, 70, 99; 215 
Crisis in civilization, 11 f., 22, 124, 
138, 162, 179 f- 
in culture, 11 f., 22, 180, 200, 206 
Culture, decline of, 110, 179 
varieties of, 160 

Darwin, C., 16, 100 

Demant, V. A., 14, 37, 186, 202, 207 

Democracy, 16, 22 f., 37, 66, 92 f, 

112, 115 ff, 125, 137, 142, 179 

and product of, 123 f. 

Democratization of education, 24 

Descartes, 79 

Dewey, F-, 45, 94 Fs 191 

Dialectical materialism. See Marxism. 

Dingle, H., 80, 108 n. 

Doctrine, 37, 72, 76 

Dogma, 37, 76, 78, 100, 108 ff. 

Economics AND ETHICS, 44, 67 f., 135 
and politics, 110, 137 
and science, 46, 110 f., 139, 186 
autonomy of, 182, 196 
Nazi, 125 
Education and religion, 188 ff., 211 
and science, 47 
philosophy of, 197, 210 f. 
sex, 47 f. 
sociology of, 212 
vocational, 25, 30 
Einstein, A., 15, 84,f., 132 
Engels, F., 42, 84, 117, 140, 155 ff 
Epistemology, 79, 90, 168 f. 
Ethics and economics, 44, 67, 185 
and law, 183 

eee ee Pest ee ee 


Ethics, science and capitalism, 67 f. 
separation of fact and value, 105 
tribal, 1i7 

Facts, LIMITATION OF, 14, 90, 92, 
108 f., 112, 137, 162 f. 

Fascism, 78, 117, 138, 142, 214 

Feudalism and capitalism, 23, 66, 
125, 166 

Flexner, A., 25, 211 

Free scholarship, 39 

French Revolution, 40, 97 

Freud, S.. 100 ff., 1355 177 

Fundamentalism, Biblical, 192 7., 201 

Marxist, 156 ff. 

Galileo, 12, 26, 57,f., 62, 100, 104, I10, 
163, 184 

Germany, Nazi, 24, 35, 9° 
pre-Nazi, 112 

Ginsberg, M., 14, 52, 208 

Goethe, 39 

“Greats,” 29 

Greek attitude to science, 28, 53 ff 
contrast with Judaism, 60 f. 

Haldane, 7. B. S., 74, 141, 156 f. 
Happiness, measurement of, 45 
* Hardy, G. H., 33 . 
Haward, 22, 30, 196 
Health, definition of, 105 
Hegel, 175 ff. 
History, interpretation of, 37, 114, 
117, 134, 150 ff, 163, 178, 186 ff 
Hitler, A., 21, 25, 39.f-s 97s 112, 114 Fs 
Hobhouse, L. T., 74, 81, 207 
Hogben, L., 25, 28, 188, 190 
Hollywood, 123 
Hook, R., 26, 60 
Hulme, T. E., 36, 207 
Hume, D., 84 f., 183 
Huxley, A., 99 
J. S., 154, 215 
T. H., tog 

Ipro.oey, 170/f. 
Individualism, 77, 94, 128, 193 f. And 
see Liberal rationalism. 


Intellectuals, limitations of, 175 f. 
treason of, 38 f., 98, 210 
International character of science, 
of universities, 115 
Internationalization of industry, 126 

James, W., 36, 79, 106 

Judaism and science, 60, 68, 131 f,, 

Judao-Christian tradition, 179 f7., 200 

Fung, K., 101 ff. 

Kant, 48, 84 f., 119, 192 
Keynes, F. M., 43, 50, 139, 208 
Knowledge, aspects of, in science, 81 
for its own sake, 25, 28, 39 f-, 114, 
182, 202 
form and ontology of, 163 ff. 
nature of, 128 ff., 137, 140 ff, 161 
social relations of, 20, 28 f., 32 ff-, 
social relations, opposition to, 34 f. 
sociology of, 165 ff, 210 
tribal, 117 
ultimate purpose of, 163, 194, 202 
universality of, 140, 154 
useful, 25 ff, 55 
validity of, 173 ff. 

Laissez-faire, 42, 67, 124, 208 
Laski, H. F., 110, 138, 165, 177, 208 
Liberal democracy. See Democracy. 
Liberal. rationalism = rational in- 
dividualism = scientific individu- 
alism, 77, 78 ff, 82, 90, 91 ff, 101, 
105 ff, 125, 137, 141, 159, 162, 
173, 177, 189 f- 
_ Lindsay, A. D., 24, 35, 139 
Lips, E., 39 f., 115, 130, 213 
Literature, Christian critique of, 
216 f. 
Marxist, 153 
Nazi, 135 
Logical positivism, 12, 48, 82, 110 ff, 
183, 205 
Léwe, A., 15 f., 29, 172, 184, 212 
Luther, M., 58 f., 63 ff, 187 


Macmurray, 7. 59, 74 2. 
McDougall, W., 102 
Mani, unity of, 117 
view of, 37, 42, 93, 106, 118, 127, 
186, 191 ff, 202 
Mannheim, K., 14, 99, 162, 167, 170, 
173; 175 f-, 194, 206, 210 
Maritain, F., 15, 202, 206, 210 
Marx, K., 16, 100, 117, 131, 135, 
137 Bs 175, 177 ; 
Marxism, 22, 29, 36, 41 ff, 70, 78, 
91 ff, 106, 117, 124 ff, 137, 169, 
173, 186 
and Communism, 146, 160, 163 
and education, 195, 205 
and literature, 153 
and nature of knowledge, 140 ff. 
and scholasticism, 146 ff., 158 
and science, 42, 140f-, 145, 155, 
214 f. 
and theology, 139 
and the World War, 144 f. 
as a religion, 158 ff., 204 
desire for consistency, 144 
development of class distinctions, 
147 f. ‘ 
failure to face facts, 141 f. 
fundamentalism, 156 ff. 
non-national elements, 142 f. 
Materialism, dialectical. See Marxism. 
mechanistic, 73 ff., 152 
Middle Ages, 20, 29, 51, 87, 114 ff, 
163, 180 f. 
Middle class, 69 f., 91, 95, 125, 138, 
Milton, F., 58, 118 

Nature, order of, 51, 80 /f. 
. uniformity of, 82 

“Nazism, 35, 42, gt ff, 106, 110, . 

114 f-, 163, 173 
analysis of, 123 
and economics, 125, 186 
and education, 195 
and literature, 135 f, — 
and nature of knowledge, 128 ff. 
and science. 42. 16. 1a1 £ 


Nazism, spiritual character of, 128,204 - 

Needham, F., 38 n., 95 m., 215 

Newman, 7. H., 171 f. 

Newton, I., 45, 65, 84 f., 103, 110, 
132, 185 

Niebuhr, Reinhold, 9 f., 14, 123, 147, 
159, 168, 178, 186, 202, 206 

Nietzsche, F., 143 

Nihilism, 127 

Osjectiviry, 100, 107, 129, 159, 164, 
189 f. 

Ontology of knowledge, 163 ff, 179 

Original sin, 168 /,, 177, 191 ff, 200 

Oxford, 21, 24, 29 f-, 65, 172, 188, 
195 f- 

Pacrrism, 43 f., 117 

Pathology of thought, 169 

Paton, D. M., 20, 212 

Phenomenalism, 109 

Philosophy and science, 48, 75 f., 
82 ff, 100 f., 104, 208 

and social science, 109 f. 

Physics and metaphysics, 83 ff, 101, 
112, 208 

Plato, 25, 53, 62, 83, 163 

Poetry, 112 

- Political science, 46, 110 f. 

Politics and biology, 42 f. 
and economics, 110 
and education, 25, 39 ff. 
automony of, 183 
Polyani, M., 209 
Pragmatism, 95 f. 
Presuppositions, Christian, 
199, 202 f., 216 f. 
of an epoch, .36 f. 
of knowledge, 128, 161, 168 f, 
203 f., 216 f. 
of science, 79 ff, 87, 100 f,, 162 
Progress, 95 ff. 
Protestantism and capitalism, 16, 
65 fF 
and reason, 92/f. 
and science, 16, 58 ff. 
Psychology, 100 ff. 

tate wih SE etnies” Gane eae . 

184 f, 


. Psychology as a religion, 102 f. 
of cognition, 167 ff. 
Purpose. See Teleology. 
lack of, 19.,f, 34f, 112, 124 
Pythagoras, 50, 54 

Quantum THEORY, 86, 132, 135 

Rauschning, H., 25, 126 f., 129 
Reason, limits of, 13, 87, 177 
‘neutral arbiter, go ff, 100, 106 
Reformation, 57 ff, 92 
Relativity theory, 85 f,, 132 
Religion and education, 188 ff, 211 
and science, 190 ff., 200, 208 
Renaissance, 64 f. 
Roman Catholicism, 65, 90, 117, 158, 
165, 171, 195 
and reason, 92 f. 
Roman empire and Nazism, 123 
and science, 51, 72, 179 f- 
Royal Society, 26, 28, 56, 60 
Russell, B., 76, 83, 95, 106 

ScHoLARsHIP, CHRISTIAN, 184, 199, 
202 ff. 
__ free, 39 
Scholasticism, Thomist, 12, 20, 51 ff, 
82, go f., 117, 163, 166, 177, 
181 ff., 201 f., 205 
Marxist, 146 ff., 158, 201 f. 
Nazi, 133, 201 f. 
Schlemmer, A., 200 f. 
Science and capitalism, 16, 65 ff, 76, 
117, 166 
and culture, 188 
and economics, 46, 186 
and education, 47 f. 
and ethics, 67 f. 
and Marxism, 42, 140 ff, 145 fi, 
155, 215 
and Nazism, 42, 116, 131 fi, 173 
and middle class, 70 
and pacifism, 43 f. 
and philosophy, 48, 75,f., 82,f., 100, 
104, 109, 208 
and Protestantism, 16, 58 ff. 


Science and-religion, 185, 190 ff., 208 
‘and scholasticism, 52 ff. And see 
and theology, 48, 51 ff, 112 
- as basis for society, 181 
as justification of political doctrines, 
Al ff, 140 f. 
asa religion, 44f., 102 f., 112, 1935 
- 204 
birth and development, 50 ff., 117 
doctrines and dogma of, 72, 76, 78 
frustration of, 33 f. 
Greek attitude, 28, 53 f- 
‘Jewish attitude, 60, 68, 1392 
presuppositions of, 79 f., 87, 100f-5 
social relations of, 33 f., 209 
Scientific individualism. See Liberal 
Secularization, 182 
Singer, C., 26, 83, 208 
Socialism, 125, 179 
‘scientific, 42, 140 f. 
Social privilege, 29 
Social sciences, 47, 89, 100, 108 ff, 
165, 186 
and philosophy, 10g f. 
and theology, 199 
Sociology and problem of validity, 
173 F 
of education, 212 
of knowledge, 165 #., 179, 209 
Soddy, F., 34, 209 
Stalin, 29, 144, 146f.,150f- , 
Stoicism, 117 

Tawney, R. H., 67, 103, 121, 138 f., 
182 , 

Technical change, 125 f. 

Teleology, 54, 59, 68, 74 f., 82, 103 f. 

Temple, W., 181, 183, 195 f- 

. Tennant, F. R., 49 

Theology, 29, 48, 51f., 78, 112, 181, 
- 184, 203 
and education, 194 
and Marxism, 139 
and sociology, 198 
Queen of the sciences, 202 f. 

Tillich, P., 14 f., 110, 182, 202, 206 


Totalitarian philosophies, 35, 93, 
118 ff,,.128, 141, 160 f,, 162, 184, 

Tribalism, 98, 117 

Trotsky, 150 ff. 

Unity of man, 117 
Universities, capitalist, 23 
Christian, 197 fF. 
crisis in, 11, 22, 128 
difference between American and 
English, 19 f,, 22 f,, 211 f. 
Fascist, 136, 214 
feudal, 23 
international character of, 115 
in occupied countries, 119 ff., 213 

liberal democratic, 16, 35, 112, 183, 

Marxist, 137 ff, 214 ff. 
Nazi, 24, 115 ff, 137, 212 7 
neutrality of, 130 
opposition of Nazism, 122 


Universities, planned, 166 
pre-Nazi, 112, 116, 211, 214 
purpose of, 130, 163, 194, 202 ff. 
quality of education, 19 f,, 24 
feligion in, 184, 189, 192, 196 ff. 
settlements, 30 f. 
social and political responsibility, 
25, 31f, 36, 40 f-, 133, 149 f. 
Utopia, 42, 95/, 140, 170 

VALUE JUDGMENTS, 105, 128, 139, 
162, 185 n., 187 
Voltaire, 41 

War, 96 ff. 

Weber, M., 50, 63 ff, 103, 134, 1375 

Wells, H. G., 87 ff, 91, 138, 154, 207 

Whitehead, A. N., 12, 15 n. 25, 50 ff, 
74 76, 87, 208, 210 

Wolf, A., 53.45 57 

Woodger, 7. H., 80